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“Ghana Passes Controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill, Drawing International Condemnation”


Ghana Passes Controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill, Drawing International Condemnation

In a move that has sparked international outrage, Ghana’s parliament has unanimously passed a controversial anti-homosexuality bill. The bill not only criminalizes LGBTQ relationships but also targets individuals who support LGBTQ rights. This development has drawn condemnation from human rights organizations and activists worldwide.

“After three long years, we have finally passed the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Act,” announced Sam George, one of the main sponsors of the bill. The legislation was introduced in parliament in 2021 and seeks to reinforce existing laws that criminalize same-sex activity in many African countries, remnants of the colonial era.

A recent CNN investigation revealed alleged links between a US nonprofit and the drafting of homophobic laws across Africa. However, the group denied any involvement. This revelation has raised concerns about external influences shaping legislation that discriminates against the LGBTQ community.

Before the bill becomes law, it must be signed off by Ghana’s president. The passing of this bill has prompted a strong response from the United Nations human rights chief, Volker Türk. He described parliament’s decision as “profoundly disturbing” and urged the government not to sign it into law. Türk emphasized that the bill expands the scope of criminal sanctions against LGBTQ+ individuals and threatens penalties for those perceived as allies.

UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima warned that if the bill were to become law, it would have far-reaching consequences. Byanyima stressed that it would not only impact LGBTQ+ individuals but also hinder Ghana’s fight against HIV and AIDS. She highlighted the importance of inclusivity in achieving the goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. Byanyima emphasized that equal access to essential services without fear, stigma, or discrimination is vital for success in combating HIV.

Furthermore, Byanyima cautioned that if the bill were to become law, it would impede free speech, freedom of movement, and freedom of association. It would obstruct access to life-saving services, undermine social protection, and jeopardize Ghana’s development success. She cited evidence that punitive laws like this bill act as barriers to ending AIDS and ultimately undermine the health of the entire population.

The passing of this bill in Ghana serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights in many parts of the world. While progress has been made in some countries, there are still numerous nations where same-sex relationships are criminalized. The international community must continue to advocate for equality and fight against discriminatory laws that infringe upon the rights and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals.

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