Ghana parliament approves anti-LGBTQ legislation

The Ghana Parliament has passed the bill on human sexual rights and family values, commonly known as the anti-LGBTQ bill, on Wednesday. The bill, officially named the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, was introduced by Sam Nartey George, the MP for Ningo-Prampram, as reported by GhanaWeb.

This bill, which prohibits LGBTQ activities and criminalizes the promotion, advocacy, or funding of such activities, was led by Sam Nartey George, according to GhanaWeb. Individuals caught engaging in LGBTQ activities could face jail sentences ranging from six months to three years, while supporters or promoters of such activities may be sentenced to three to five years in prison, as reported by Citi Newsroom.

The passage of this bill comes after years of it being debated in parliament, facing opposition and attempts to block or amend it. Currently, homosexuality is illegal in Ghana, with a maximum prison sentence of three years. However, under the new legislation, this maximum sentence will be extended to five years. Additionally, the distribution of materials supportive of LGBTQ rights will also be criminalized.

Parliament approved the bill just one day after Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the Board Chair of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development, urged President Nana Akufo-Addo to reject it, according to Citi Newsroom. Takyiwaa Manuh, a senior fellow at the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development, mentioned to CBS News that Akufo-Addo has not approved any previous privately sponsored bills due to legal reasons related to the country’s constitution. Manuh believes that if the bill becomes law, it will have a significant impact on various aspects of society, including the judiciary and police.

“I am sad, disappointed, and surprised that our commitment to democratic principles in this country appears to be so shallow,” Manuh stated.

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