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Ghana's Parliament Debate Heats up as LGBT People and Allies Face extreme Condemnation as Criminals

By Melanie Nathan, Expert Witness in U.S. Courts for Ghana and other African countries, February 08, 2024.

The political rhetoric and commentary by Parliamentarians is heating as the push for an onerous and punitively harsh new law winds its way through the amendment and consideration phase in Ghana's parliament. The speaker again promises that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill known as The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2021, will see passage by the end of this parliamentary session.

The path is clear as almost 100% of Parliamentarians seem to support it, which will take the ultimate vote to over 2/3rds, which will result in a possible veto if President Akufo-Addo fails to attest to the Bill, making it law. Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, has promised to ensure passage:

The minority leader, Ato Forson has said that Parliament will override the President, to avert the President from taking what he describes as "unconstitutional actions."

The majority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said that it is incumbent on Parliament to persist in discussions regarding the constitutional issues raised by the Bill itself. Parliament has in the meanwhile approved an amendment imposing up to six months in prison plus fines on people who aid, facilitate, engage, or promote LGBTQI activities. Obviously this could still be held unconstitutional as it subverts the very basic freedoms enshrined in Ghana's constitution

The Bill is already causing mass panic among LGBT people in Ghana, as many flee to other countries including the United States. With few pathways, many are unable to find safety and protection given the current persecution and violence that this impending new law and surrounding rhetoric has served to license.

More can be read here.

Part 2 of this Article will follow with more information on the debate in parliament.


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