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Setback for Ghana’s ‘worst anti-LGBTQ bill ever’

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Godfred Yeboah Dame (Photo courtesy of Modern Ghana)

Godfred Yeboah Dame (Photo courtesy of Modern Ghana)

Godfred Yeboah Dame, Ghana’s attorney-general and minister of justice, has declared that the harsh anti-LGBTQ bill currently in Parliament would impose costs on the state, so he will advise the President not to assent to it.

“I will advise the President to return the bill to Parliament,” he said.

The Constitution demands that a private member’s bill can’t impose cost on the state or taxpayers, the Attorney General stated, as reported by Joy 99.7 and the LGBTQ rights group Rightify Ghana.

The Attorney General did not go so far as to explain that the costs of prisoners in Ghana would soar if homophobic legislators succeed in passing the law that would imprison thousands of LGBTQ Ghanaians, human rights advocates and allies. Instead, he merely warned of the private member’s bill’s unaddressed financial ramifications.

Last year, he had pointed out both that problem and other constitutional flaws of the legislation, which at the time was labeled the “worst anti-LGBTQ bill ever.”

In November 2022, Ghana Web reported that:

“The Bill in its present form violate some fundamental human rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution, including the right to freedom of expression, thoughts and conscience and freedom from discrimination,” the Attorney General noted in his MEMO to the committee dated October 19, 2022.

Godfred Dame further noted that some provisions of the Bill repeat already existing legislation and, in some situations, seek to amend some provisions in the Constitution.

The A-G stated that the bill which is privately sponsored contrary to Article 108 of the Constitution imposes financial implications on the state.

“It is observed that the Bill is not accompanied by a fiscal impact analysis required by section 100(1) of Act 921,” the attorney general added.

Source: African Human Rights Media Network member Erasing 76 Crimes