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Anti-LGBT bill in Ghana parliament waiting in limbo

  • March 23, 2024
  • 2 min read
Anti-LGBT bill in Ghana parliament waiting in limbo

The speaker of the Ghanaian parliament has blocked the approval of new ministers after a row over the president’s delay in signing a new anti-LGBT bill passed last month. The speaker has condemned the presidency’s move to ask parliament not to send the bill for his assent before legal challenges are dealt with as “contemptuous.”

The bill would criminalise gay relationships and anyone who supports them. President Nana Akufo-Addo is under pressure from those who want it signed into law but also from Western donors and human rights groups urging him not to approve it. A lawyer in the country challenged the bill in the supreme court, saying that it had not met the required number of MPs in parliament.

The proposed new law, The Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values bill, was supported by both of the country’s main parties. It imposes a prison term of up to three years for anyone identifying as LGBT and five years for anyone promoting their activities. It has received support from influential Christian and Muslim leaders with the president saying that he would sign it if the majority of Ghana’s population called for it.

But now, he is seeking to assure the international community that Ghana will be committed to upholding human rights. The finance ministry however said that the country could stand to lose $3.8 billion (£3 billion) over the next five to six years as a result of the bill. The West African nation is suffering a major economic crisis and had a bailout from the International Monetary Fund last year.

The supreme court is not expected to rule on the case before the country’s parliamentary elections in December.

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