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Ghana makes it illegal to identify as LGBTQA+ or form a community group

The African nation of Ghana has just passed some harsh laws targeting LGBTIQA+ people, they’ve made it a crime to identify as being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or anything other than heterosexual.

The new bill calls for a three-year jail term for anyone who says they are LGBTQA+, and anyone who creates a group or provides funding to a group can be jailed for up to five years.

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When the bill was debated some politicians argued that rather than jail sentences the punishment should be counselling and community services, but the suggestion was met with fierce opposition.

The bill come into law if President Nana Akufo-Addo signs the legislation, he has previously indicated he will give it support if the majority of Ghana’s citizens appear to be supportive of the proposed laws.

Gay sex was already a crime in the West African nation, currently anyone caught participating in same-sex activity can be jailed, but the new law will have the same penalty just for acknowledging your sexuality.

Human Rights Watch commented on the legislation when it was under discussion last year.

“Ghana’s parliament should consider the disastrous social, political, and economic consequences that the anti-LGBT bill will have on journalists, human rights defenders, women, families, and on other minorities in the country.

“If passed into law, the bill will not only imperil fundamental human rights enshrined in Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, but also violate regional and international human rights obligations, such as the principles of nondiscrimination and equality enshrined in the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights.” the rights organisation warned.

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