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Ghana: New anti-LGBTQ law draws condemnations

Speaker of Ghana Parliament Alban Sumana Bagbin speaks at the Parliament House in Accra, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024.   -  
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Misper Apawu/ 2024 Misper Apawu


**Since the bill entitled "Promotion of proper human sexual rights and ghanian family values" was passed in Ghana, it has stirred controversy.

“The bill broadens the scope of criminal sanctions against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transexual and queer people – simply for being who they are – and threatens criminal penalties against perceived allies of LGBTQ+ people,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk.

In the streets of Accra, some Ghanaians think the bill goes too far.

“I think it’s a bit harsh to sentence someone because of his own decision. I think the whole thing about the bill needs to change people so that they can take good decisions for themselves,” an entrepreneur said.

The bill, which was voted on Wednesday, was first introduced three years ago.

Civil society organization (CDD) says it is unecessary.

“It is an absolute non necessity. There is no reason why we need a bill that criminalizes people who are queer in this country,” Chairperson for Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana said.

The bill among other things criminalizes public displays of affection between people holding out as LGBTQ, and disbands existing LGBTQ groups.

“I think that it is our duty as Civil Society Organizations to go to court and test the provisions of this bill against our constitution, because it is our contention that the constitution is the supreme law of the land and any bill from parliament has to conform to the constitution, and we don’t think that this bill does,” Professor Audrey Gadzekpo added.

Those convicted could face up to a decade in prison.

Accordign to local media outlets, the CDD and the Human rights coalition have petitioned the Supreme Court.

The UN has urged for the bill not to become law. It is now on president Nana Akufo Addo 's desk.

President Nana Akufo Addo not to sign the bill into law.

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