By Staff Reporter
ACCRA, March 28 — Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo announced on Monday that the anti-gay bill under discussion in parliament had been “modified” following the government’s intervention. During a joint press conference with US Vice President Kamala Harris, President Akufo-Addo clarified that the bill was not an official government policy but was rather introduced by “a handful” of private members.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the attorney general had submitted opinions to a parliamentary committee about “the constitutionality or otherwise of several of its provisions,” leading to significant modifications of the bill. However, he did not provide further details.
President Akufo-Addo refused to reveal his stance on the bill’s passage, instead hoping that parliament would consider the sensitivity of the human rights issue. Ms Harris stated that she had discussed the issue with President Akufo-Addo and that the United States regarded it as a human rights issue.
If passed, the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Value Bill would imprison those who identify as LGBTQ and criminalize advocacy for gay rights. Ghanaian parliament began public hearings on the bill in 2021, but it is unknown when it will come to a vote.
Homophobic attitudes are widespread in Ghana, where gay sex is already punishable by up to three years in prison, but the proposed legislation would impose even longer sentences. President Akufo-Addo has previously expressed opposition to same-sex marriage, stating that it would never be legalized during his presidency. – Namibia Daily News