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Ghana Lawmakers Push for Furthering Anti-LGBTQ Legislation
Despite international condemnation of laws that would impose jail time on LGBTQ individuals, Ghanian lawmakers seek to further legislation that would increase the penalties for advocates of LGBTQ rights in the country.
Ghana's Parliament has given its support to proposed amendments to an anti-gay bill that would criminalize identifying as LGBTQ, imposing a three-year prison sentence. The amendments, backed by a cross-party group of Members of Parliament (MPs), also include provisions for up to 10 years of imprisonment for individuals advocating for LGBTQ rights. However, the bill will undergo further scrutiny before becoming law.
During the parliamentary session, one female MP who expressed dissenting views faced heckling and was ultimately silenced. Homosexual acts are already illegal in Ghana, but the proposed legislation has sparked domestic and international condemnation, with critics arguing that it violates the constitutional rights of individuals. Supporters of the bill claim it is necessary to preserve Ghanaian values.
The proposed amendment follows recent restrictive measures against LGBTQ+ individuals implemented in Uganda and other African countries, including Nigeria. These measures have been met with widespread criticism from the international community. In March, U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris, during her visit to Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia, spoke out against a bill that would penalize supporters of gay rights and impose jail time for individuals identifying as LGBTQ+.
The bill's future remains uncertain, pending further scrutiny and potential legal challenges, as activists and advocates continue to voice their concerns over the potential infringement on individual freedoms and the protection of LGBTQ+ rights.
Amnesty International Ghana has issued a strong condemnation of lawmakers in Ghana following their unanimous support for a revised anti-LGBT bill. Genevieve Partington, the director of Amnesty International Ghana, expressed concerns about the bill, stating that it infringes upon the rights of certain individuals. She highlighted how the legislation violates freedom of expression and freedom of association, raising questions about the potential consequences for individuals who support the rights of the LGBT community. As an ally of the LGBTI community herself, she pondered whether she could be subject to spending several years in prison under the proposed law.
Activists and advocates continue to call for the protection of human rights, urging Ghana to uphold its obligations under international law and respect the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
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