An anti-gay bill that is currently being discussed in parliament, according to Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, has been “modified” as a result of his government’s involvement.
The measure, according to Mr. Akufo-Addo, was introduced by a “handful” of private members and was not official government policy. He was speaking at a joint news conference with visiting US Vice President Kamala Harris.
A parliamentary committee had received views from the attorney general, according to him, about the constitutionality or otherwise of several of its provisions.
Without going into further detail, he said, “My understanding … is that substantial elements of the bill have already been modified as a result of the intervention of the attorney general.” In lieu of commenting, President Akufo-Addo anticipated that the parliament would take into account the delicate nature of the human rights issue. He continued, “We will see what the final outcome will be.”
Ms. Harris claimed to have discussed the situation with President Akufo-Addo and stated that the US viewed it as a human rights issue.
The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Value Bill, if it becomes legislation, would put LGBTQ people in prison and make support for gay rights illegal. Beginning in 2021, public hearings on the bill were conducted by the Ghanaian parliament. When it will be submitted to a vote is unknown.
In Ghana, where homophobic attitudes are prevalent, gay sex is already punishable by up to three years in prison, but the proposed Anti-Gay legislation would impose longer sentences. Same-sex marriage has been condemned by Mr. Akufo-Addo in the past, and he has promised that it will never become lawful while he is president.
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