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Parliament Passes Anti-LGBTQ bill

The Parliament of Ghana has officially passed the Promotion of Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, commonly referred to as the anti-LGBTQ bill.

The passage of the bill coincided with a call from Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the Board Chair of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), urging President Akufo-Addo to reject it.

Prof. Gadzekpo argued that the legislation undermines fundamental human rights safeguarded by the Constitution, including dignity, freedom of speech, association, and non-discrimination. Speaking at a press conference focused on human rights, she stressed the critical importance of upholding these rights to maintain Ghana’s constitutional democracy.

Concerns were also raised about the bill’s impact on media freedom, with CDD highlighting potential repercussions for journalists and social media users reporting on LGBTQI+ issues.

Additionally, critics pointed out that the bill violates Article 108 of the 1992 Constitution, which prohibits private members’ bills imposing charges on the public purse.

The passage of the bill drew opposition from various quarters, including the “Big 18” and Human Rights Coalition, who urged Parliament to reject it. They emphasized the need to uphold the rights of all citizens and cautioned against the potential contravention of domestic and international human rights standards.

Also, sponsors of the legislation initiated a motion for further consideration, particularly focusing on clauses 10 and 11, which pertain to the editorial policies of media organizations. Samuel Nartey George, the lead sponsor, proposed aligning these clauses with Article 12 of the 1992 constitution, which safeguards freedom of the press. These amendments were subsequently approved by the House.

However, the Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, also sought to subject clause 12 of the bill, which addresses the funding of LGBTQ activities, to constitutional review. This proposal, was rejected by the House.

The anti-LGBTQ bill criminalizes LGBTQ activities, promotion, advocacy, and funding, reflecting the stance taken by Ghana’s Parliament on this contentious issue.

The bill now awaits presidential assent to become law.


Story by Adwoa S. Danso

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