A group of lawmakers in Ghana, cutting across the two major political parties, have presented a bill to the country’s parliament regarding LGBTQ+ lifestyle. The 36-page document aims to curb not only the practice but also the promotion of LGBTQ+ which is already illegal in Ghana by clearly stating punishments including jail terms for those who engage in such practice.
The speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin assured Ghanaians that the bill will be passed as soon as possible. “Ghanaians have spoken with one voice. I sit here as the speaker of Ghana; I represent Ghanaians and the country Ghana. We have spoken with one voice that we don’t want anything to do with whatever terms they are because there is still no end yet” the speaker said.
Commenting on the series of threats being sent to lawmakers, the Speaker said “We will not threaten any person but we shall also not be threatened; and all those threatening the members of parliament who are leading this bill, please be warned. We cannot be threatened in our homes. This must be stated loud and clear.”
“To those who have come to do business in Ghana, those who represent their countries and think that they are right. We also represent our country and they will never, they can never dictate to us as to how to live or not to live in this world and I am very clear in my mind that, this house, the parliament of Ghana will pass this bill as soon as possible.” The speaker added in reference to diplomats who keep promoting LGBTQ+ in Ghana against the laws of the country.
The newly introduced bill themed “The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021” states that, people of same sex who engage in sexual intercourse are “liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than seven hundred and fifty penalty units and not more than five thousand penalty units, or to a term of imprisonment of not less than three years and not more than five years or both.”
Although the country already has a law which prohibits “unnatural carnal knowledge,” the new bill provides detailed categorization as any person who “holds out as a lesbian, a gay, a transgender, a transsexual, a queer, a pansexual, an ally, a non-binary or any other sexual or gender identity that is contrary to the binary categories of male and female.”
The bill also outlined punishment for those who promote LGBTQ+ in the country through media or any other platform. It proposed that “a person who, by use of media, technological platform, technological account or any other means, produces, procures, markets, broadcasts, disseminates, publishes or distributes a material for purposes of promoting an activity prohibited under the Bill, or a person uses an electronic device, the Internet service, a film, or any other device capable of electronic storage or transmission to produce, procure, market, broadcast, disseminate, publishes or distribute a material for purposes of promoting an activity prohibited under the Bill commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than ten years.”