Ghana’s anti-LGBTQ+ Bill, properly referred to as, ‘The Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021,’ continues to generate fierce debate at home and abroad.
Parliament last week started its public hearings on memos it received last month but suspended the process after Day 1 of sitting.
The issue, however, made it into the presidency of the United States of America, the White House during a press briefing over the weekend.
Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary during the press briefing was asked a question about Ghana’s anti-LGBTQ+ Bill and what steps the US president will be taking on the matter.
The journalist who posed the question prefaced it with the fact that the bill proposes five years in prison for LGBTQ+ persons and 10 years for advocates before adding: “Will the President reach out to his counterpart in Ghana or our partner nation on this legislation?”
Psaki’s response reiterated President Joe Biden’s pro-LGBTQ+ stance and added that the US will continue to diplomatically engage with partner nations especially through the Department of State, which is essentially the country’s Foreign Ministry.
“Well, first I would say that the President believes that LGBTQ I rights are not rights just here in the United States but they are rights across the world and they are rights that we should continue to raise and we will continue to raise in our diplomatic engagements.
“I would expect that the State Department will be the first point of contact, so I will point you to them and I can also check with them to see what the conversation has been like,” she added.
The US Embassy in Accra has been one of the known supporters of the LGBTQ+ movement, at a point, it was alleged by a Member of Parliament that the Embassy hoisted a gay flag during their Pride Month celebrations.
The United Nations sexual rights advocate and the worldwide Anglican church are among some foreign entities that have commented publicly on the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill calling for its rejection.
Promoters of Ghana’s anti-LGBTQ+ Bill
The LGBTQ+ Bill before Parliament is titled: “The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021.” It is a Private Members’ Bill sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
The eight MPs who sponsored the Bill are Sam Nartey George (MP, Ningo Prampram), Emmanuel Bedzrah (MP, Ho West) Della Adjoa Sowah (MP, Kpando), John Ntim Fordjour (MP, Assin South) – the sole NPP MP sponsoring the Bill.
The remaining sponsors are Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini (MP, Tamale North), Helen Adjoa Ntoso (MP, Krachi West), Rita Naa Odoley Sowah (MP, La Dadekotopon) and Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor (MP, South Dayi).
Ghana’s pro-gay collective
A group of 18 academicians and human rights defenders have voiced strong opposition to the bill before Parliament, which is seeking to extensively criminalize the activities of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, LGBTQ+.
The group submitted a memorandum to Parliament seeking that the bill be rejected because it was largely unconstitutional and infringed on basic human rights.
Members of Parliament behind the bill, led by Ningo Prampram MP Sam Nartey George, have rubbished the memorandum and asserted that the bill will be passed into law because it has the support of the wider Ghanaian populace.