Things To Know About The Ghanaian Anti-LGBTQ Law – Reactions

Ghanaian Parliament Ban LGBTQ
Ghanaian Parliament Ban LGBTQ

The Ghanaian’s parliament has on Wednesday passed a bill prohibiting every form of LGBTQ activity in the country.

Sam George, a member of the parliament, representing the Ningo – Prampram constituency introduced the “promotion of proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values bill” which aimed at opposing the rights of queer persons and implementing 10 years jail term for anyone found culpable.

Hitherto, gay sex was already punishable in Ghana with a three years jail term for those found wanting, however the new bill has mandated a 10Years minimum jail sentence. These has raised several concerns and reactions from individuals and groups who sees the law as being inappropriate and admonished President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government to reject it.

“You cannot criminalize a person’s identity and that’s what the bill is doing and it’s absolutely wrong,” said Takyiwaa Manuh, a member of a coalition.

“We want to impress on the president not to assent to the bill, it totally violates the human rights of the LGBT community,” Manuh said.

Founder and director of the organization, LGBT+ Rights Ghana Alex Donkor said, “The passing of this bill will further marginalize and endanger LGBTQ individuals in Ghana.”

“It not only legalizes discrimination but also fosters an environment of fear and persecution,” he said.

“With harsh penalties for both LGBTQ individuals and activists, this bill threatens the safety and wellbeing of an already vulnerable community.”

“My heart is broken and devastated at the moment, that’s all I can say for now” Angel Maxine, Ghana’s first openly transgender musician and LGBTQI+ activist said, adding “My pronouns are she/ her/ hers.”

Winnie Byanyima, executive director of the United Nations AIDS agency UNAIDS, said in a statement that the bill would affect everyone if it became law, adding that punitive laws as embodied by the bill, are a barrier to ending AIDS and ultimately undermine everyone’s health.

“It will exacerbate fear and hatred, could incite violence against fellow Ghanaian citizens, and will negatively impact on free speech, freedom of movement and freedom of association,” Byanyima said in the statement.

“If it becomes law, it will obstruct access to life-saving services, undercut social protection, and jeopardize Ghana’s development success,” she added.

Virginia E. Palmer, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, has also expressed concern over the passage of the anti-LGBTQ bill, emphasizing its potential negative impact on Ghana’s international reputation and economy.

“l am saddened because some of the smartest, most creative, most decent people I know are LGBT. The bill Parliament passed takes away not only their basic human rights but those of all Ghanaians because it undermines their constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press. It will be bad for public order and public health. If enacted, it will also hurt Ghana’s international reputation and Ghana’s economy.”

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