Anti-gay Bill: Afenyo-Markin urges media scrutiny amid concerns over press freedom impact

Alexander Afenyo-Markin
Alexander Afenyo-Markin

Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, is urging increased media scrutiny of the Anti-Gay Bill currently under parliamentary consideration.

Talking to Accra-based Citi FM, the New Patriotic Party MP for Effutu in the Central Region voiced concerns that the bill might inadvertently reintroduce elements of the repealed criminal libel law, affecting journalists and media outlets reporting on LGBTQ+ activities.

Afenyo-Markin cautioned that the bill, if passed, could have implications for press freedom, urging journalists to pay close attention to its provisions.

“I do not think the media has paid due regard to this bill because it is written in ink that if a media house expresses any editorial policy on any issue regarding sexuality, that media house and its members or that media person will be jailed. If you impose custodial sentences, you are setting the country back to where, as a country, we said a journalist who errs must face civil liability instead of criminal consequences”, he said.

“We all have to be very careful and pay due attention to the issue in Parliament…And then also those journalists or media houses who may be writing their editorials or who may be expressing views about it or talking about it. It is not just talking about you promoting it. Just mentioning it in itself is a crime.”

The MP had kicked against custodial sentences for individuals involved in LGBTQ+ activities, emphasizing the inadequate rehabilitation facilities in the country’s prisons. He proposed replacing the minimum two-month imprisonment sentence with a minimum one-month community service for those found guilty.


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