Parliament Passes Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill

Ghana’s Parliament has officially passed the Promotion of Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, commonly recognized as the anti-LGBTQ bill.
As outlined in a report by Accra-based Citi FM, the bill received approval after undergoing thorough consideration stages by lawmakers.

Parliament passed the legislation a day after Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Chair of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), appealed to President Akufo-Addo to reject the bill. She argued that the legislation threatens crucial human rights safeguarded by the Constitution, including dignity, freedom of speech, association, procession participation, academic freedom, equality, and non-discrimination.

Professor Gadzekpo stressed the importance of protecting rights and freedoms for constitutional democracy, warning that changes could threaten Ghana’s democratic principles. She emphasized how crucial the issue is for all citizens.

CDD expressed worries about freedom in the media, pointing out possible penalties for journalists and social media users covering LGBTQI+ matters, which could restrict freedom of expression. The organization also criticized the bill for breaking Article 108 of the 1992 Constitution, which bars private members’ bills that impose a financial burden on the public.

The “Big 18” and Human Rights Coalition united in urging Parliament to oppose the Anti-LGBTQI Bill, emphasizing the critical need to uphold the rights of all citizens. They cautioned that approving the bill would not only contradict both domestic and international human rights standards but also diminish the societal role of the media.

The enacted bill criminalizes and prohibits LGBT activities, imposing penalties ranging from a 6-month to 3-year jail term for individuals involved, to a 3 to 5-year jail term for promoters and sponsors.

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