The parliament of Ghana is currently debating whether to pass an anti-LGBTQ+ bill that in some ways is worse than the Anti-Homosexuality Law recen
The parliament of Ghana is currently debating whether to pass an anti-LGBTQ+ bill that in some ways is worse than the Anti-Homosexuality Law recently enacted in Uganda.
Ghana’s bill would make it a crime to:
- Simply BE a non-binary or LGBTQ person or a supporter of human rights for LGBTQ people or engage in same-sex activity (up to five years in prison).
- Take part in a same-sex wedding (up to three years in prison)
- Kiss a person of the same sex in public (up to a year in prison)
- Advocate for the human rights of LGBTQ people or rent premises used for such advocacy (up to 10 years in prison)
The bill would also promote the harmful and ineffective practice known as “conversion therapy”, which attempts to turn LGBTQ people straight.
Supporters of the bill say it’s needed to protect LGBTQ citizens from homophobic mob justice.
The human rights advocacy group Rightify Ghana reports on some of the ongoing debates inside and outside of Parliament:
Anti-gay leader threatens retaliation against any U.S. sanctions
Main sponsor of anti-LGBTQI Bill, Sam George, threatens that Ghana will go after US business interests if Speaker, MPs face sanctions for anti-LGBTQ Bill passage. He also took aim at @SecBlinken and the @StateDept [and] cited Desantis anti-LGBT agenda.
Putting Muslims and Christian in charge of ‘conversion therapy’
[Hon. Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi], the chairman of the committee handling the bill, says the Speaker has hinted that the anti-LGBTQ Bill would be returned to them to put Christian and Muslim organisations in charge of so-called conversion therapy at their ‘health facilities’. …
If anyone thinks that faith-based organisations in Ghana are capable or ready to provide any kind of assistance to the LGBTQ community, they are not serious. You cannot change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Also, faith-based organisations perpetuate and actively promote discrimination against LGBTQI persons. And they have never condemned the ongoing violence.
Hypocrisy about oral sex
“You are mad” – Hon. Ursula Owusu scolded Hon. Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed for yelling at her that she is ‘a practitioner of LGBTQ’ because she dared speak against the Bill. Ursula had called out the hypocrisy of men who enjoy oral and anal sex from women…
Hon. Ursula Owusu added that some men are subjecting women and girls to sexual activities they don’t like, specifically oral (BJ) and anal sex. These same men who practice oral and anal sex want the anti-LGBTQI Bill passed.
“Even under the current law [against ‘unnatural carnal knowledge’], anal sex and oral sex are criminal’ – Hon. Ursula Owusu reminds MPs cheering the anti-LGBTQ Bill that engaging in oral (BJ) and anal sex with your wife or girlfriend is as criminal as gay sex.
Opposition from Amnesty International
Ghana’s country director for Amnesty International, Genevieve Partington, has called on Parliament to reject the bill in its entirety. United Television reported.
Anti-LGBTQ newspaper coverage
Newspapers in Ghana are abuzz with coverage of the bill. Among the headlines:
- [Member of parliament] Dan Botwe: “Sustain efforts to ‘kill’ gay activities”
- “Journalists against LGBTQI+ slam [the newspaper] Daily Graphic for neglecting anti-gay bill coverage”
- “AIDS Commission not against anti-LGBTQ bill, Director General clarifies”