Ghana’s LGBTQ+ community and those who advocate for them are calling for support in the face of an anti-LGBTQ+ bill which, if passed, could see 10 year prison sentences handed down to people for supporting or advocating for gay rights in the country.
Word spread unofficially before the parliament had announced their proposed bill, leading to a backlash against what advocates are describing as a ‘distraction’ from the reality of a post-Covid economy.
Kwasi Prempeh, the head of Ghana Centre for Democratic Development, told VOA News that:
“We’re in almost a post-COVID situation and there are a lot of challenges to deal with… This is not the kind of distraction we need at this time. And unfortunately, it is being foisted on us by these crusaders who really will not stop.”
If passed, the bill would be the first anti-LGBTQ+ law in the country’s history since breaking from colonial rule.
The proposed bill comes after a group of queer people in Accra, the country’s capital, were arrested at a community centre, where there was allegedly an LGBTQ+ workshop being held. 21 of these activists are currently awaiting trial.
While many LGBTQ+ spokespeople in the country condemn the bill, Sam George, an opposition MP in favour of the proposed anti-LGBTQ+ law, has said on Twitter that:
“Homosexuality is not a human right. It is a sexual preference.”
The MP went on to articulate that:
“I don’t care what you do in the confines of your room or the privacy of your home… But when you want to make that a way of life, when you then want to demand that the rest of us accept your perversion and when you want to demand that the rest of us accept to your way of life and target our children, then we’re not going to allow you to do that.”
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