By Melanie Nathan, July 19, 2023
The Parliament of Ghana unanimously passed a motion for amendments to the Promotion of Proper Human and Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill (Family Values Bill): This month, July, 2023 the Parliament of Ghana unanimously passed a motion for amendments to the Promotion of Proper Human and Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill (Family Values Bill): According to reports, this amendment would impose a three-year prison sentence on individuals who openly identify as LGBT, while those advocating for LGBT rights could face up to 10 years behind bars. The Bill now moves to the consideration stage, after which it will go through the third reading before it is passed into law. This decisive action reflects the collective sentiment of Ghanaian society, highlighting a firm stance against what is perceived as a deviation from cherished cultural norms and religious beliefs.
The bill criminalizes the promotion, advocacy, funding, identifying as LGBTQI+ and acts of homosexuality. This Family Values Bill if passed goes further than the horrific and globally condemned Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, recently passed in Uganda because it includes a prison term for merely identifying as LGBTQI+, thereby criminalizing identity and not only sexual acts. This is extremely onerous and hence makes it criminal to merely walk around alive, if one is LGBTI. That serves to criminalize one’s existence. Prison terms up to ten years in prison for LGBTQ+ advocates and three years for anyone identifying as such. Moreover, the bill seeks to withdraw health services from this community, including HIV medication.
The passage of the Motion and surrounding rhetoric exemplifies a depth of misunderstanding about homosexuality and same-sex relations, all in an attempt by the Ghanaian Parliament to rob LGBTI people of their most basic of human rights. The right to one’s innate human sexuality.
The bill’s main sponsor, Hon. Sam Nartey George, said, “Homosexuality is not a human right in Ghana, but a lifestyle choice. A sexual preference.” He also threatened USA business interests in Ghana's if the United States tried to intervene.
Jurist legal news and Commentary Article notes: “Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin, stated LGBTQ+ practices are strongly abhorred and will not be allowed to take root in the country. He said: I am very clear in my mind that the Parliament of Ghana will pass this Bill (to criminalize LGBTQ). I have gone through it and I will confirm that the Bill will be a reference point for many countries. It has gone through all the provisions of the constitution, laws and international obligations.”
The Bill still needs a third reading in Parliament as well as a third reading in the House and must then be signed into law by Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo. AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COALITION Anticipates a mass exodus of LGBTQ people fro the country, stretching our already limited resources to assist LGBTQI+ Asylum seekers and refugees. BY MELANIE NATHAN: Country Conditions Expert Witness for LGBTQI+ ASYLUM SEEKERS in the U.S. and global courts: firstname.lastname@example.org REFERENCES.