Politicians in the African nation of Ghana have unveiled draft bill that activists say is one of the world’s most homophobic pieces of legislation.
A group of MPs introduced the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill to parliament late last month.
Gay sex is already punishable by up to three years in jail in Ghana.
However the new draft legislation would explicity decalre it illegal to be gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, punishable by five years in prison.
It would also even criminalising being an LGBTIQ ally or promoting “sympathy” in the country, with the same prison terms threatened.
The bill has emerged in full online. The draft laws would make it a crime for citizens not to report queer people to police.
The proposed laws would also force queer people to pay “compensation” to someone they engage in sexual activity with.
Human rights activists warn that clause would put queer Ghanians at risk of blackmail.
The bill also promotes harmful and debunked conversion therapy by allowing leniency if an LGBT person requests “treatment”.
Online platforms or media companies supporting LGBT people could also face prosecution under the proposed laws.
Proposed law in Ghana ‘most homophobic the world has seen’
Local group Rightify Ghana says the draft bill is the “most homophobic document the world has ever seen”.
“The community is shocked at how wide-ranging it is,” a spokesperson told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“People are even scared to go out now. Some members say they’ll leave the country if the bill is passed into law.
“Even those who want to help us will be afraid.”
However of the bill’s backers, Samuel George, says it’s necessary to “fight against the scourge and perversion of homosexuality.”
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the massive support even here on a very ‘liberal’ platform like Twitter for our Bill on the LGBTQI+ menace,” he tweeted.
“Homosexuality is NOT a human right. It is a sexual preference. Preferences are not absolute or unregulated.
“We SHALL pass this bill through.”
Twitter later deleted George’s tweet for violating its rules on hateful conduct.
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