Parliament Passes Anti-LGBTQ Bill

Parliament has passed the bill on Human Sexual Rights and Family Values also known as the anti-LGBTQ bill.

The bill proscribes LGBT activities and criminalizes its promotion, advocacy and funding.

Persons caught in the act would be subjected to a 6 months to 3 year jail term with promoters and sponsors of the act bearing a 3 to 5 year jail term.

Ahead of the passage, sponsors of the Bill filed a motion for a further consideration stage of the bill.

The lead sponsor, Samuel Nartey George proposed that clauses 10 and 11 of the anti-LGBT which deals with editorial policies of media firms be subjected to article 12 of the 1992 constitution which provides for the freedom of the media.

The amendments were approved by the House as part of the bill.

The Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin on his part also filed a motion for clause 12 of the bill which deals with the funding of LGBT activities to be subjected to the constitution but that was negated by the House.

The passage of the Bill by Parliament comes a day after the Board Chair of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, called on President Akufo-Addo to reject the Bill.

Prof. Gadzekpo argued that the bill undermines fundamental human rights protected by the Constitution, including the rights to dignity, freedom of speech and association, procession participation, academic freedom, equality, and non-discrimination.

Speaking at a press conference focused on human rights and a rights-based approach to supporting sexual minorities in Ghana, Prof. Gadzekpo emphasized that upholding rights and freedoms is crucial to constitutional democracy.

She warned that altering these rights could jeopardize Ghana’s democratic principles, highlighting the significance of the issue for all citizens.

The Bill would now require presidential assent to come into force. President Nana Akufo-Addo has not confirmed if he would sign the bill into law.

The United Nations said in 2021 that the proposed law, Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, would create “a system of state-sponsored discrimination and violence” against sexual minorities.

In May 2023, Uganda signed one of the world’s toughest anti-LGBT laws, including the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.” Activists said it unleashed a wave of abuse and the World Bank suspended new funding to the country.

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