Ghana passes controversial anti-homosexuality bill

This legislative action reflects an increasing resistance to LGBTQ+ rights within Ghana.

After approximately three years of discussion, Ghana’s parliament has approved a controversial bill that bans homosexuality.

The legislation stipulates incarceration for up to three years for individuals convicted for LGBTQ+ identification. Additionally, the creation or support of LGBTQ+ groups could result in a maximum sentence of five years.

The bill received unanimous consent during the third reading on Wednesday, and the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, dismissed proposed amendments during the session. Efforts to amend the bill to include community service or counseling in place of prison sentences were not successful.

This legislative action reflects an increasing resistance to LGBTQ+ rights within the nation. The bill is expected to be sent to President Akufo-Addo, who has previously indicated he would endorse it if it aligns with the wishes of the majority of the population.

Amnesty International has expressed concern that the bill could significantly impact the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. There is apprehension among activists that the legislation may lead to targeted actions against the LGBTQ+ community and their advocates, potentially forcing some into concealment.

The bill also proposes up to a decade of imprisonment for those engaged in LGBTQ+ advocacy directed at minors and calls for public reporting of LGBTQ+ individuals to the authorities of Ghana.

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