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Parliament passes the anti-LGBTQI bill

The Parliament of Ghana has passed the Promotion of Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, popularly known as the anti-LGBTQ bill into law.

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin

According to a report by Accra based Citi FM, the bill was finally passed by lawmakers after the various consideration stages have been exhausted.

The passage of the Bill by Parliament comes a day after the Board Chair of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, called on President Akufo-Addo to reject the Bill.

Prof. Gadzekpo argued that the bill undermines fundamental human rights protected by the Constitution, including the rights to dignity, freedom of speech and association, procession participation, academic freedom, equality, and non-discrimination.

Speaking at a press conference focused on human rights and a rights-based approach to supporting sexual minorities in Ghana, Prof. Gadzekpo emphasized that upholding rights and freedoms is crucial to constitutional democracy.

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She warned that altering these rights could jeopardize Ghana’s democratic principles, highlighting the significance of the issue for all citizens.

Addressing concerns about media freedom, CDD pointed out that the bill would punish journalists and social media users for reporting on LGBTQI+ issues, infringing upon freedom of expression. They also criticized the bill for violating Article 108 of the 1992 Constitution, which prohibits private members' bills that impose a charge on the public purse.

The "Big 18" and Human Rights Coalition urged Parliament to reject the Anti-LGBTQI Bill, emphasizing the importance of upholding the rights of all citizens. They warned that passing the bill would not only contravene domestic and international human rights standards but also undermine the role of the media in society.

The bill proscribes LGBT activities and criminalizes its promotion, advocacy and funding.

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Persons caught in the act would be subjected to a 6-month to 3 year jail term with promoters and sponsors of the act bearing a 3 to 5 year jail term.

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