Various human rights activists have expressed their displeasure at an attempt by Ghana’s lawmakers to pass a law that criminalizes activities of LGBTQ+ persons and those who advocate such rights in the country.
Last month eight members of Ghana’s Parliament jointly submitted a private bill to push for the criminalization of LGBTQI+ activities.
The bill, titled “Bill on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values”, was presented to Speaker, Alban Bagbin who is an anti-LGBT+ activist.
The proponents of the bill want the promotion, advocacy, funding, and acts of homosexuality to be criminalized in Ghana.
The Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development @CDDGha, Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh has berated the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Babgin for becoming a “cheerleader” for the anti-LGBTQ bill and making international headlines “for all the wrong reasons.” pic.twitter.com/bzCPfIzgH8
— Rightify Ghana (@RightifyGhana) July 5, 2021
The recent wave of repression of the activities of LGBT+ activities in Ghana comes on the back of arrest and detention of some 21 activists charged with unlawful gathering for meeting in the country’s Ho city for a paralegal training on LGBT+ rights.
The stayed in detention for weeks before finally gaining their freedom but the state is yet to stop their prosecution.
At the last hearing last week, the Ho circuit court hearing the case adjourned the case to 5th August, 2021.
The prosecutors said they are still waiting for advice on the case from the Ghana’s Attorney General’s office.
Silent Majority Ghana (SMG), a rights advocacy group at a virtual press briefing called for charges against the 21 activists to be dropped and the case discontinued to end the abuse of justice happening in the courts and the erosion of civil liberties in Ghana.
On June 15, 2021 the group coordinated a day of action to advocate for the freedom of the 21 activists and also to petition the Ministry of Justice, and Attorney General to immediately drop all charges against the 21.
We’re coordinating a day of action on June 15, 2021 to advocate for the freedom of the 21 activists who were arrested in Ho, and to petition the Ministry of Justice, and Attorney General to immediately drop all charges against the 21. #JusticeForTheHo21 #DropTheCharges pic.twitter.com/0SMBATVIg7
— Silent Majority Ghana (@smajoritygh) June 14, 2021
Silent Majority Ghana told reporters that current draft bill before Ghana’s parliament is to further suppress and oppress LGBT+ persons, as it fears it will also heightened hatred for such persons and their allies.
The group said there is the need to ensure a balance of voices in discussion about homophobia and queer rights in Ghana.
Already there is a move to get Ghanaians to sign an online petition to have the bill rejected and withdrawn.
The founder of the LGBT+ Rights Ghana Alex Kofi Donkor revealed at the online briefing that he and other LGBT+ persons feel unsafe in Ghana due to constant persecution and harassment.
Donkor said the Ghanaian society is becoming a dangerous and unwelcoming place for gay persons, something he expressed sadness about.