Ghana's Anti LGBTQ Law

The Parliament in Ghana on Wednesday passed a bill that makes it illegal to identify as a member of the LGBTQ community. The proposed law has also introduced penalties for those who would promote, sponsor or support LGBTQ activities in the country. The prison term for forming or funding LGBTQ groups will be a maximum of 5 years. Those involved in LGBTQ advocacy campaigns that are aimed at children will face a jail term of up to 10 years. Gay sex was already illegal in Ghana, carrying a prison sentence of 3 years.

Christian and Muslim leaders came together to sponsor the proposed legislation, which has now been supported by the two largest political parties in Ghana. MPs have said that the Bill came about after public protests against the opening of an LGBTQ centre in Accra, back in 2021. Since Ghana is a majority Christian nation, the Church pointed out that the LGBTQ lifestyle was contrary to Ghanaian culture and that the people would not accept it.

The law banning same-sex relationships already existed in Ghana, but it was rarely enforced. The attempt to open up the LGBTQ Community Centre however raised alarm bells in the conservative country. The Australian high commissioner, the Danish ambassador and several EU delegates attended an event meant to mark the opening of the centre, leading to concerns that the international community was promoting LGBTQ activities in the country.

Catholic Bishops at the time released a statement asking the EU and others promoting the lifestyle not to impose their values and beliefs on Ghanaians who were firmly against homosexuality.

Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Ghana’s Minister for Information, agreed with the Bishops and hinted that the government would soon introduce legislation that would ban advocating for and promoting LGBTQ activities in the country.

The Bill will only become law if President Nana Akufo-Addo assents to it within seven days.

This whole episode highlights how some Western Governments and Organisations are attempting to force through a culture change in Africa by funding and supporting progressive liberal ideologies in a country that is largely conservative and Christian. Ghana should be applauded for resisting this, and for taking steps to prevent further incursions into their culture.

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