Breaking News: Ghana’s Parliament Passes Anti-Gay, LGBTQ Bill

by Ohepo Ohepo

On Wednesday, the contentious anti-homosexuality measure that has sparked outcry from around the world was unanimously approved by Ghana’s parliament.

“We have finally passed the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Act after three long years,” shared Sam George, one of the bill’s primary sponsors, on social media.

Introduced in 2021, the measure criminalizes not only partnerships between LGBTQ people but also anybody who advocate for LGBTQ rights.

Due primarily to regulations from the colonial era, same-sex activities are still widely illegal in African nations. However, a number of new bills and proposed laws in Africa have attempted to make such laws clearer and, in some cases, stronger.

Alleged connections between the homophobic legislation’ drafting and a US organization were discovered through a recent CNN investigation. The group refuted those connections.

Before becoming law in Ghana, the bill must still be approved by the president of the nation.

Volker Türk, the UN’s chief human rights officer, referred to the bill’s passage in parliament as “deeply troubling” and asked the government not to sign it into law.

He stated, “The bill threatens criminal penalties against perceived allies of LGBTQ+ people and broadens the scope of criminal sanctions against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, and queer people – simply for being who they are.”

UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima responded to the bill’s approval by stating that if it were to become law, it would “affect everyone” and impede the nation’s efforts to combat HIV and AIDS.

on a statement, Byanyima stated, “Approaches rooted in inclusion of all people have been crucial to Ghana’s progress in the HIV response.”

“It is crucial to ensure that everyone has equal access to essential services without fear, stigma, or discrimination, and that providers of life-saving HIV prevention, testing, treatment, and care services are supported in their work if we are to achieve the goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030,” the speaker stated.

In addition to threatening “free speech, freedom of movement, and freedom of association,” Byanyima warned that the measure will “obstruct access to life-saving services, undercut social protection, and jeopardize Ghana’s development success” if it becomes law.

“Research demonstrates that harsh legislation, such as this bill, impedes efforts to end AIDS and ultimately jeopardizes the health of all people.”

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