Anti-LGBTQ Legislation in Ghana Awaits Presidential Consideration

Anti-LGBTQ Legislation in Ghana Awaits Presidential Consideration
Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo speaks at the National Governor Association winter meeting Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, in Washington. - Copyright © africanews Jose Luis Magana/AP

Anti-LGBTQ Legislation in Ghana Awaits Presidential Consideration

Ghana’s parliament recently approved an anti-LGBTQ bill, yet it has not reached the desk of President Nana Akufo-Addo. In his initial remarks on Monday, President Akufo-Addo clarified that he has not yet received the bill and assured that Ghana remains committed to upholding its human rights standards.

President Akufo-Addo disclosed that the bill has faced legal challenges in the Supreme Court, emphasizing that a judicial review is underway. This statement aligns with the stance taken by the Ministry of Finance, which had earlier advised the president against signing the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill (commonly referred to as the anti-LGBTQ+ bill) into law.

“I have learnt that, today, a challenge has been mounted at the Supreme Court,” President Akufo-Addo stated in a release. “In the circumstances, it would be as well for all of us to hold our hands and await the decision of the Court before any action is taken,” he added.

The bill, passed by parliament last Wednesday, seeks to criminalize various aspects related to homosexuality, including its promotion, advocacy, funding, and the acts themselves. This legislative move has triggered widespread condemnation and backlash from both local and international activists, as well as various human rights organizations.

The president’s cautious approach, waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision, reflects a commitment to due process and legal scrutiny in a matter that has generated significant controversy. The legal challenges underscore the complexity and sensitivity of legislating on matters related to sexual orientation and human rights.

As the international community observes Ghana’s response to the bill, the legal proceedings in the Supreme Court will likely play a pivotal role in shaping the fate of this controversial legislation. The president’s insistence on awaiting the court’s decision signals a recognition of the gravity of the issue and the need for a thorough examination of its legal implications before any decisive action is taken.


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