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Ghana bill seeks to criminalize being LGBTQIA

As it is, gay sex is already punishable with up to three years in jail in the West African country, but the draft law would go much further by making it illegal not only to be LGBTQIA, but also to advocate for LGBTQIA human rights.

Photo by Ali Khalil from Pexels.com

A bill in Ghana eyes to make it a crime to be LGBTQIA.

As it is, gay sex is already punishable with up to three years in jail in the West African country, but the draft law would go much further by making it illegal not only to be LGBTQIA, but also to advocate for LGBTQIA human rights. If approved, this legislation would make being LGBTQIA a crime punishable with up to five years imprisonment. Meanwhile, those advocating for their human rights or helping them could get 10 years in jail.

As if these aren’t bad enough, the proposed legislation also:

  • Wants to prosecute online platforms or media companies publishing information deemed supportive of LGBTQIA people or challenge traditional binary gender identity
  • Promotes the so-called conversion therapy by allowing flexible sentencing for an LGBTQIA person if they request “treatment”
  • Encourages parents of intersex children to have them undergo surgical “realignment”
  • Outlaws “intentional cross-dressing”
  • Makes it a citizen’s duty to report any LGBTQIA person or activities to authorities

The bill, “The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021”, was submitted to Ghana’s parliament in June. The parliament now has to appoint a committee to review the draft legislation and then it will be subject to various amendments before it can be passed into law.

With this, Ghana is contradicting other African countries that have started to afford LGBTQIA people recognition, including Rwanda, Angola, Botswana and South Africa that have already decriminalized homosexuality.

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