Ghana Parliament Passes Anti-LGBTQ Bil

In a session on Wednesday, the Ghana Parliament successfully passed the controversial bill targeting human sexual rights and family values, commonly known as the anti-LGBTQ bill. 

The legislation, officially titled the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill,” was spearheaded by Sam Nartey George, the Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram.

GhanaWeb highlights that the bill, initially a Private Members Bill led by Sam Nartey George, strictly prohibits LGBTQ activities and criminalizes any promotion, advocacy, or funding of such practices, according to reports from Citi Newsroom.

Local media indicates that individuals found engaging in LGBTQ activities could face imprisonment ranging from six months to three years. 

Furthermore, those supporting or promoting such activities may be sentenced to three to five years in prison.

This development follows years of the bill’s presence in parliament, undergoing various stages amid significant opposition and attempts to either block or amend it. 

Notably, homosexuality is already prohibited by law in Ghana, carrying a maximum sentence of three years. However, the new legislation extends this maximum sentence to five years.

The bill also introduces penalties for the distribution of materials supportive of LGBTQ rights, as per Citi Newsroom. 

The approval came just a day after Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Board Chair of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development, urged President Nana Akufo-Addo to reject the bill.

Takyiwaa Manuh, a senior fellow at the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development, expressed disappointment at the potential impact of the bill on the judiciary, police, and society at large.

 She called on the president to uphold the country’s values and constitution, emphasizing the perceived threat the bill poses.

The bill now awaits the President’s approval to become law, with uncertainties surrounding President Akufo-Addo’s stance. 

Notably, in 2021, the United Nations voiced concerns about the potential repercussions of the proposed law, warning of state-sponsored discrimination and violence against sexual minorities.

 The recent implementation of strict anti-LGBT legislation in Uganda in May 2023, including severe penalties such as the death penalty for specific homosexual acts, adds to the global context surrounding such legislation.

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