Ghana passes bill making identifying as LGBTQ+ illegal


Ghana

Ghana’s parliament has passed a controversial new bill that will severely restrict LGBTQIA+ rights in the West African country.

The legislation will see a mandatory three-year prison sentence for a person who identifies as LGBTQIA+.

People who allow same-sex “activity” on properties they “own, occupy or manage”  face six years in prison.

Anyone funding an LGBTIQ organisation also faces five years in prison. LGBTIQ “advocacy” involving children will result in a 10-year prison sentence.

MPs said the bill was drafted in response to the opening of Ghana’s first LGBTQ+ community centre in the capital, Accra, in 2021.

Anti-LGBTQ laws will “affect everyone”

Last month Amnesty International warned that the bill “poses significant threats to the fundamental rights and freedoms” of LGBTQ+ people.

The United Nations human rights chief Volker Türk called parliament’s passing of the bill “profoundly disturbing” and urged the government not to sign it into law.

“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,” he said.

UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima warned that if the bill did become a law it would “affect everyone” and hamper the country’s fight against HIV andAIDS.

About 30 African countries currently ban homosexuality, according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

Uganda, Mauritania and several northern Nigerian states punish same-sex relations extremely harshly, with those accused possibly facing the death penalty.

Gay sex has been decriminalised in Cape Verde, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Mozambique and Seychelles.

South Africa is the only nation on the continent to allow gay marriage, which was legalised in 2006.

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Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch: sarah@qnews.com.au

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