Friday, March 1, 2024

No way, Ghana!

Ghana's parliament has passed a tough new bill that imposes a prison sentence of up to three years for anyone convicted of identifying as LGBTQ. It also imposes a maximum five-year jail term for forming or funding LGBTQ+ groups.

It is the latest sign of growing opposition to LGBTQ rights in the conservative West African nation. Gay sex is already against the law in Ghana - it carries a three-year prison sentence.

The bill, which had the backing of Ghana's two major political parties, will come into effect only if President Nana Akufo-Addo signs it into law.

Last month Amnesty International warned that the bill "poses significant threats to the fundamental rights and freedoms" of LGBTQ people.

Also United Nations rights experts condemned arbitrary arrest of LGBT human rights defenders in Ghana and urged their release.

Activists fear there will now be witch-hunts against members of the LGBTQ community and those who campaign for their rights, and say some will have to go into hiding.

In many African countries LGBT people may be stigmatised and excluded from society. Many are forced to hide their identities in fear of their safety.

Across sub-Saharan Africa, legal discrimination is, in part, a legacy of colonial-era laws. Many governments have not taken steps to reform these laws.

Read a report here.

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