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New laws spark fear among LGBTIQ community in Ghana

The LGBTIQ community in Ghana is living in fear of attacks from anti-gay crusaders and an intolerant society if the west African country’s parliament passes a proposed law criminalising any LGBTIQ-related activities.

The Ghanaian parliament is set to debate a bill that would put in place radical laws further criminalising homosexuality.

The LGBTIQ community in Ghana has expressed concerns that the proposed laws would curtail their rights and freedoms.

The bill is being fronted by members of parliament from the ruling New Patriotic Party.

The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 proposes a 10-year jail sentence for anyone found guilty of engaging in or promoting any activities that might be deemed homosexual in nature.

The bill also seeks to criminalise any act by individuals and foreign and local organisations to advocate for and promote LGBTIQ rights.

Members of parliament fronting the new law argue that it will help in protecting Ghanaian family values and culture.

The new law also wants to force intersex people to undergo conversion therapy as a means of realigning their sexuality.

The bill is receiving support from Christian and Muslim organisation in Ghana, anti-gay lobby groups, and some media organisations.

Pro-LGBTIQ rights groups in Ghana are calling on President Nana Akufo-Addo not to assent to the bill if it is passed by the parliament.

Foreign diplomats in Ghana have also voiced their opposition to the law, which they say will open discrimination against members of the LGBTIQ community.

Ghana has been carrying out constant crackdowns targeting members of the LGBTIQ community and their organisations. 

Over 20 people in the city of Ho were arrested and charged in court in March for allegedly engaging in activities that were deemed homosexual.

Earlier this year, the LGBT+ Rights Ghana group was forced to shut down its office in Accra after it was raided by security forces.

Many African countries are among the dozens worldwide that still criminalise homosexuality.

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