Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill: Media houses’ editorial discretion not proscribed – Dafeamekpor clarifies

Headlines Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill: Media houses editorial discretion not proscribed – Dafeamekpor clarifies
MAR 5, 2024 LISTEN

Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, Member of Parliament for South Dayi and co-sponsor of the anti-LGBTQ+ bill, has clarified that media houses in the country are free to use their editorial discretion to cover events perceived as LGBTQ+ activities.

He stated that the law will target the organizers and sponsors of LGBTQ+ events, not the media houses that report on such events.

Earlier versions of the bill suggested that media houses could face penalties for covering LGBTQ+ activities and distributing their content.

In an interview on The Point of View on Citi TV, Mr. Dafeamekpor clarified, “We have clearly subjected and amended provisions 10 and 11 of the law to the constitution. If Citi News hears that a group of people are protesting at Circle, and what they are protesting is newsworthy, you can exercise your editorial discretion to cover it.”

He emphasized, “The law won’t come after you because that is the exercise of your editorial discretion. The law will look at the people who organized the event and the intent of organising that event. If the event is to promote LGBTQ+ activities, then the law will have its full recourse. We have not proscribed the constitutional rights of media houses to exercise their editorial discretion in this matter, we haven’t. If you cover an event for purposes of your media work, or for education, there’s no ill intent or malice. Citi FM is not going out of its way to cover LGBTQ+ people for purposes of promoting among citizens.”

He also addressed critics of the bill, emphasizing that rights have limits.

“Rights are not absolute; you have a right to smoke tobacco, which is a natural vegetative. The health personnel will tell you the health consequences thereafter and that if you do so it’s at your own peril. The smoking of tobacco is not proscribed by the state. But another vegetative plant ‘marijuana’ is proscribed.

The state has the right to protect the public from anything it thinks is injurious to public health. We’re proscribing certain content; a man sleeping with an animal is proscribed. We are saying that two men cannot engage in sexual activities; we are banning all forms,” he insisted.