World/Foreign News

Ghana’s parliament passes Anti – LGBTQ bill

Ghana’s parliament has passed the highly contentious Anti-LGBTQ+ bill after about three years of deliberations.

The new bill imposes a prison sentence of up to three years for anyone convicted of identifying as LGBTQ+.

It also imposes a maximum five-year jail term for forming or funding LGBTQ+ groups.

The bill was approved unanimously on Wednesday following the completion of the third reading. Proposed amendments to the bill were rejected by the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, during the session.

Lawmakers heckled down attempts to replace prison sentences with community service and counselling.

It is the latest sign of growing opposition to LGBTQ+ rights in the conservative West African nation.

The bill is now slated to be forwarded to President Akufo-Addo for his assent for it to be signed into law.

The president has in the past said that he would do so if the majority of Ghanaians want him to.

Last month Amnesty International warned that the bill “poses significant threats to the fundamental rights and freedoms” of LGBTQ+ people.

Activists fear there will now be witch-hunts against members of the LGBTQ+ community and those who campaign for their rights, and say some will have to go into hiding.

The bill proposes a jail term of up to 10 years for anyone involved in LGBTQ+ advocacy campaigns aimed at children.

It also encourages the public to report members of the LGBTQ+ community to authorities for “necessary action”.

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