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Anti-gay bill will increase sodomy in Ghana prisons, say lawmaker



An anti LGBT bill in Ghana’s parliament has again brought to the fore struggles dealing with gay related issues in West Africa after a lawmaker said that the proposed law would encourage sodomy in prison.

The bill proposes stiffer, longer sentences LGBT offences.
But ruling-party lawmaker Alexander Afenyo-Markin said that such bill will be counter productive.
As learnt, a coalition of Christian, Muslim, and Ghanaian traditional leaders sponsored the legislation, which is favoured by most lawmakers and would punish the promotion of LGBT rights with up to 10 years in prison.
Gay sex is already punishable in Ghana by up to three years in prison.
On Thursday, the lawmaker said that imprisoning people for LGBT offences would encourage sodomy in prisons and “worsen homosexuality and its promotion” in the West African nation, which he argued would defeat the bill’s original intent.
The bill, which was at its final stage before becoming law, also encourages those accused of homosexuality to submit to so-called conversion therapy, which claims to change sexual orientation, in exchange for reduced sentences.
Afenyo-Markin, also the deputy leader of the ruling party in parliament, recommended instead that parliament amend aspects of the legislation, asking that it should be more reform-minded and humane.
He said that jail would be ineffective in addressing a “behavioural problem”.
The LGBT community in Ghana already faces abuse and hostility and discussion of the proposed bill has heightened fears.
Some African countries like Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda have taken stiffer stance on gay right promotion.

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