Ghana Passes Bill in Protection of African Culture.

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On the 28th of February, Ghana’s parliament passed a bill on the issues of anti-homosexuality that has attracted world condemnation, however, the country is unshaken by this criticism. The bill pushes to increase criminal penalties for consensual same-sex relationships and punishes advocacy for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

The President, Nana Akufo Addo, is expected to reject the bill and refuse an appending signature to the bill without reservations. The president, however, has decided to wait for the Supreme Court ruling on its constitutionality before assenting to the bill. 

The bill “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanian Family Values Bill” was initially introduced in 2021 by members of parliament. 

According to one of the main sponsors of the bill, Sam George posted on his X handle, “After three long years, we have finally passed the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Act”.

Additionally, the bill criminalizes not only advocating for LGBT rights but also failure to report an LGBT person to the authorities and anyone using a social media platform to create, publish, or distribute content that promotes activities that are forbidden by the bill.

In Ghana, gay sex is already against the law and it is punishable by a three-year imprisonment sentence. However, the new legislation extends the maximum sentence by five years of imprisonment.

In an interview with Breakfast Central, Sam George, a member of the Ghanaian Parliament was asked for his take on the response of the Spokesperson of the United States Department of State, Matthew Miller, who said that the United States is deeply troubled by the passage of the legislation as it will affect a lot of Ghanaians in diaspora. 

MP George responded by saying that he does not expect the spokesperson to respect the tenets of democracy. He said; “The entire  United States government needs to bear in mind that Ghana is a sovereign country and we are opposed to cultural imperialism”.

He made reference to the Israeli campaign in the Gaza Strip when the US government was called on to intervene, the US department said it was not in its position to interfere in the local matters of sovereign states. 

MP George further noted that “Ghana is a sovereign state and not the 51st state of the United States. The sovereign parliament has passed a bill as they are not invited to the country’s local politics”.

Considering the treatment and measures meted out to Uganda after they had passed the anti-LGBTQ bill, MP George was asked if he fears that Ghana might meet the same fate, to which he responded, saying “as the first country to gain independence in sub-Saharan Africa and leads the light for the rest of Africa, he expects that the president of Ghana stand shoulder high and tell the American people to either do business with us on our terms or walk away”.

He noted that the American businesses that operate in Ghana are not in the country because of LGBTQ but because they make a profit. If saying no to the bill to protect the cultural value would cost losing $100 million in profit, then they should leave.

In addition, he said Africans should be able to stand up for their rights as they are not puppets and stooges of the West/European world.

Most countries in Africa expressed opposition to the UN General Assembly declaration for LGBT rights as it goes against the cultural values and norms of religion, traditions, and customs of African countries. 

In countries like Nigeria, Somaliland, Somalia, Mauritania, and Uganda, homosexuality is punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment. 

Nevertheless, Ghana has not made the wrong decision to pass the anti-LGBTQ bill. It is proof that many African countries have seen the light and have decided to walk in that light.

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