Ghana proposes crushing anti-LGBTI laws with harsh jail sentences

Ghana

New laws proposed in the African country of Ghana would see 10 year prison sentences for individuals or groups who advocate for LGBTI rights, show support or symphony for LGBTI people, or offer social or medical support.

A draft copy of the draft bill has leaked also incudes provisions that would force intersex people to have “gender realignment surgery”.

Homosexuality has always been illegal in the country, but the proposed laws would extend the reach of the law further, stopping people from access medical treatment and in some cases forcing them to undergo surgery.

The introduction of the new laws have been championed by many figures in the government of President Nana Akufo-Addo. In recent months there has been increasing levels of violence against LGBTI people in the country, alongside a crack down on support for LGBTI people.

On Friday Sam Nartey George, an MP who has described gay rights as a “perversion” and led a group of lawmakers who drafted the bill, hit back at  online condemnation of the bill, saying critics of the legislation were “uninformed” about Ghana.

“Homosexuality is not a human right. It is a sexual preference,” George said in a post on Twitter. “We shall pass this bill through.”

The ‘Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values’ bill says it is to protect families from LGBTTQQIAAP+ influence.  Listing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transexual, queer, ally and pansexuals. While the final P in the acronym stands for: “persons of any other sociocultural notions of sex and sexual relationship that is contrary to sociocultural notions of male and female or the relationships between males and females.”

The bill also says people who describe themselves as ‘asexual’ are covered by it’s contents, but not celibate people.

The draft bill contains a clause requiring anyone who witnesses any suspected LGBTIQ+ activity to report it to the police, and if police are not available the information should be relayed to customary leaders, government officials, politicians or opinion makers.

Alongside the proposed laws prohibiting homosexual activities are clauses preventing people from marrying animals, or performing weddings between humans and animals.  While any person or publication found to be advocating for a change to the proposed laws would face a jail term of 5 to 10 years.

Ghana is seen as one of the most stable government’s in West Africa.

OIP Staff


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