Amnesty International has charged Ghana’s Parliament to withdraw the proposed anti-LGBTI Bill from consideration.
It noted that the Bill gravely contravenes the principle of equality and non-discrimination, freedom of expression, and association enshrined in the 1992 constitution and International Human rights treaties.
“The Ghanaian Parliament and the government should immediately withdraw the proposed Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 from consideration,” it said.
“This Bill gravely contravenes the principles of equality and non-discrimination, the rights to freedom of expression, association, and privacy, and the prohibition of torture enshrined in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and international human rights treaties ratified by the country,” it added.
In a public statement dated September 6, 2021, Amnesty International further notes that the bill denies LGBTI persons their inviolable human dignity, guaranteed to all persons under section 15 of the country’s Constitution.
Furthermore, the statement indicates that the Bill encourages hatred and intolerance against people based on sexual orientation and imposes restrictions and criminal penalties against a range of people.
“The Bill encourages hatred and intolerance and promotes persecution against people based on their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity simply because they do not or cannot conform to dominant social and gender norms,” it indicated.
“If passed into law, it intends to impose restrictions and criminal penalties against a range of people, including LGBTI people and anyone who expresses support or sympathy towards LGBTI people,” it added.
Eight members of Ghana’s Parliament have jointly submitted a private bill to push for the criminalization of LGBTQI+ activities in the country.
The bill, which they term as a ‘Bill on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values’, was presented to Speaker, Alban Bagbin on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.
The proponents of the bill want the promotion, advocacy, funding, and acts of homosexuality to be criminalized in the country.
However, Amnesty International has noted that Ghana’s Anti-LGBTI Bill will sway the country in an opposite direction because this is a time that countries like Angola and Gabon are lifting such discriminatory laws. Thus called on Ghana’s Parliament to withdraw the Bill from consideration.
“At a time when other countries around the world, including Angola and Gabon, are lifting discriminatory laws targeting people for their real or perceived sexual orientation, Ghana must not go in the opposite direction. The Ghanaian authorities are encouraged to protect equality and non-discrimination and other fundamental human rights of all people in Ghana,” it concluded.