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Ghana's Parliamentary Committee Recommends Passing Stringent Anti-Homosexuality Family Values Bill

Upon her visit and answering questions on the Bill, the U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris muted remarks still cause some Ghanaians to take offense.

The Ghanaian Parliament’s Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee has recommended that the House pass the anti-Homosexuality legislation, the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, otherwise known as The Family Values Bill of 2021.

According to the Committee, a majority of Ghanaians are favor the legislation. Yet they do not seem concerned with its constitutionality or impact on the LGBTQI+ community in Ghana, which already causes many to be forcibly displaced, flee, and seek protection, resettlement or asylum in second and third countries.

Yet it did admit, according to sources, that the bill had “significant human rights concerns”, the Committee informed the House that it petitioned the Attorney-General for its opinion. We know that the Bill has already received international condemnation and a very definitive opposing analysis by the UN Independent Expert for SOGIESC, Victor Madrigal.

The 18-page document which was signed by the Committee’s Chairperson, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi has told Parliament to “pass into law, the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021, subject to the amendments proffered by the Committee.”

Mr Anyimadu-Antwi indicated that the decision was reached after considering the advice of the Attorney General.

The controversial LGBT bill is a private member bill that was presented to Speaker Alban Bagbin on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, to include extremely harsh prison terms.

The proponents want the promotion, advocacy, funding, and acts of homosexuality to be criminalized in the country, much of which is based on false notions and dangerous misunderstandings of human sexuality and gender identity, as well as the influence of religious extremists from abroad.

Although the Bill is in Parliament, the LGBTQ+ topic surfaced into the limelight again during US Vice President, Kamala Harris’ visit to Ghana. VP Harris, addressing the gathering said, “I feel very strongly about the importance of supporting freedom and supporting the fighting for equality among all people, and that all people be treated equally. “I will also say that this is an issue that we consider, and I consider to be a human rights issue, and that will not change.”

Even though she did not directly address the bill in Ghana’s Parliament, a section of Ghanaians took offense to her answer.

Notable people including, the Speaker of Parliament described her comments as undemocratic and “should not be tolerated.”

Melanie Nathan, Executive Director of African Human rights Coalition comments: "However from America we expect much more for the global human rights of all human beings from VP Harris. While understanding the diplomatic limitations and complexities of our VP speaking on foreign soil, we will expect much more from the Biden/Harris administration upon her return. Here in the United States and in other countries LGBTQI+ Ghanaians seek protection and asylum and the stories we hear of persecution are horrific. African Human Rights Coalition presented a written opposition to the Parliament’s Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee in Ghana, representing the position of Ghanaian asylum seekers here in the United States, in the hope of opening the Committee's eyes to how the current situation already impacts its citizens who have fled, noting how much worse it will get. This new law will only serve to further license and exacerbate the persecution, causing more to flee, forcibly displaced. We need the American government to open pathways and we need the global community to condemn these laws that do little more than hurt sexual minorities. Every human being has a right to their sexuality as long as their sexual relations are between consenting adults and harm no one, just like i. the heterosexual realm of relationship. These laws discriminate, are unconstitutional as well as in breach of international instruments."

Melanie Nathan is an expert witness in the U.S. courts on behalf of Ghanaian LGBTQI+ Asylum seekers,, as well as for other African countries.

NOTABLY FRANCE 24: "Ghana has seen an unprecedented wave of homophobia over the past several years.

In February, police evicted those working the reception desk at LGBT+ Rights Ghana, one of the few associations providing assistance to the LGBT people, barely a month after it opened.

Since then, the community has been the target of violent attacks by politicians, journalists and religious leaders in the Ghanaian media and on social networks."


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