A bill that criminalizes LGBTQ+ people and their supporters in Ghana drew international condemnation on Thursday, February 29, after it was passed by parliament. The Parliament of Ghana approved legislation on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, that could lead to prison sentences of up to three years for identifying as LGBTQ+ and five years for forming or supporting LGBTQ+ organizations.
The United States issued a warning, cautioning that it might limit foreign aid to Ghana if President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo signs this new bill into law.
The spokesperson for the US State Department, Matt Miller, has expressed concerns about the potential consequences of the bill. According to him, if the LGBTQ+ bill becomes law, it would certainly have a chilling effect on foreign investment and tourism in Ghana. 

He added that the enactment of the bill could affect U.S. assistance to the country the same way it has been affecting Uganda, which passed a very similar law in the past.

The United Nations is also calling the LGBTQ+ bill “profoundly disturbing” and urging for it not to become law. In a statement, Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the Office of the UN High Commissioner, said the bill broadens the scope of criminal sanctions against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people simply for being who they are, and threatens criminal penalties against those perceived as their allies.
Madam Ravina Shamdasani explained that consensual same-sex conduct should never be criminalized and the bill, if it becomes law, will be corrosive, and will have a negative impact on
society as a whole.

Amnesty International urged President Akufo-Addo not to sign the bill, emphasizing the importance of respecting the human rights of all individuals. Amnesty’s country director for Ghana, Genevieve Partington, condemned the legislation, citing reports of rights violations against LGBTQ+ individuals since the bill’s introduction in parliament.

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