PARLIAMENT APPROVES ANTI-LGBTQI+ BILL, NOW AWAITING PRESIDENTIAL ASSENT

Ghana’s Parliament has approved a bill aimed at promoting human sexual rights and family values, commonly referred to as the anti-LGBTQ+ bill. The legislation prohibits lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) activities and criminalizes their promotion, advocacy, and funding in the country.
Under the new law, individuals engaged in such activities could face imprisonment ranging from six months to three years, while promoters and sponsors of such acts could be sentenced to three to five years in jail.
Before the bill’s passage, the sponsors of the legislation initiated a motion for further consideration by the House. Samuel Nartey George, the lead sponsor, proposed amendments to clauses 10 and 11 of the bill, which address the editorial policies of media organizations, to ensure compliance with Article 12 of the 1992 constitution, guaranteeing freedom of the media. These amendments were accepted by Parliament as part of the bill.
However, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, the Majority Leader, filed a motion regarding clause 12, which concerns the funding of LGBTQ+ activities, to be subjected to constitutional scrutiny. This motion was rejected 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, urged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo not to assent to the bill.
She stressed that human rights are not dependent on majority approval or disapproval; therefore, the assertion by the proponents of the Anti-LGBTQ+ bill that the majority of Ghanaians are allegedly in favour of the bill justifies its passage into law is untenable, adding that Ghana is a secular and multi-religious country.
The newly approved bill will come into effect if President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo signs it into law.
In Ghana, gay sex is already against the law, which carries a three-year prison sentence.

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