Anti-LGBTQI Bill Locked Up In Parliament


In a recent press briefing, Ghana’s Majority Leader of Parliament, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, disclosed that the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2021 has not yet been submitted to the President for assent into law.

He addressed the mounting pressure on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to sign the bill, stating that such pressure is unfounded.

Mr. Afenyo-Markin explained that after passing the Anti-LGBTQ+ bill with several amendments, the drafting department has to compile and finalize the bill for authentication by the Clerk to Parliament. Only after certification by the Speaker can the bill be transmitted to the President. As of now, the bill remains within the legislature.

“As we speak, we’ve not completed the process. So the public needs to know this, so that a certain impression is not created out there that parliament has transmitted the bill to the presidency and all. Nothing has moved to the presidency,” Mr. Afenyo-Markin clarified.

He emphasized the importance of the bill’s sponsors reviewing the final draft before submission to the President.
Currently, the sponsors have not seen the final draft. Mr. Afenyo-Markin highlighted that the Clerk to Parliament’s authentication and the Speaker’s certification are necessary steps that haven’t been completed.

Calling for a cautious approach, Mr. Afenyo-Markin stated that the testing of issues raised against portions of the bill should be done in the Supreme Court.
He maintained that while Ghana’s value system does not support same-sex unions, imprisoning individuals involved in LGBTQ+ activities is not the solution for their reformation. Instead, he proposed a non-custodial sentencing regime, emphasizing tolerance as a part of Ghanaian values.

The bill, passed by Parliament last Wednesday, intensifies restrictions on LGBTQ+ rights, imposing a maximum of three years’ imprisonment for individuals identifying as LGBTQ+ and up to five years for those promoting or funding non-conventional sexual or gender identities.

Mr. Afenyo-Markin firmly believes that testing provisions of the bill in court will ultimately resolve the matter.


By Vincent Kubi