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Akufo-Addo yet to receive anti-LGBTQ+ bill– Afenyo-Markin

Source The Ghana Report

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, says that the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, commonly known as the anti-LGBTQI+ bill, is yet to be submitted to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his assent.

He explained that the drafting department of Parliament was in the process of compiling the bill.

Mr Afenyo-Markin said that the bill was undergoing internal parliamentary processes before reaching the President’s desk for potential approval.

The final draft will then be presented to the sponsors for their review and subsequent authentication by the clerk to Parliament, initiating the necessary procedural steps.

His clarification comes amidst public interest and discussions surrounding the bill.

“There’s some seeming pressure on the presidency regarding the anti-LGBTQ+ Parliament passed. Well, the process is that when the bill is passed in Parliament, it must first be compiled by the drafting department in Parliament. As we speak, as the leader of the house, I can say on authority that we’ve not completed the process. The bill is yet to be sent to the President for signing.

“So the public needs to know this so that a certain impression is not created out there that Parliament has submitted the bill into the presidency and all. Nothing has moved to the presidency.

“Mr Speaker has yet to receive the authenticated bill, the clerk to Parliament himself has not yet seen it, and the drafting department is still compiling. I have been chasing it myself, and they said it will require some time because many changes were made.”

The Ministry of Finance has urged President Akufo-Addo to defer assent to the recently passed anti-LGBTQ bill by Parliament.

In a press release on March 4, the Finance Ministry cautioned that approving the bill could result in significant financial consequences for Ghana.

According to the Finance Ministry’s statement, Ghana will lose a substantial amount of World Bank financing, estimating a potential loss of USD$3.8 billion over the next five to six years.

Specifically, the impact for 2024 includes a loss of USD$600 million in budget support and USD$250 million for the Financial Stability Fund, adversely affecting Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves and exchange rate stability.

On Wednesday, February 28, 2024, Parliament approved the bill that criminalizes LGBTQ+ activities, as well as their promotion, advocacy, and funding.

Those found guilty could face a jail term ranging from six months to three years, while those promoting and sponsoring the act could face a jail term between three to five years.

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