ANI Photo | Ghana passes controversial anti-homosexuality bill amid international outcry

Ghana’s parliament made headlines on Wednesday as it unanimously approved a contentious anti-homosexuality bill, eliciting widespread international condemnation, CNN reported.
Sam George, a key sponsor of the legislation, announced the milestone on X, formerly known as Twitter, stating, “After three long years, we have finally passed the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Act.”
Introduced in 2021, the bill not only criminalises LGBTQ relationships but also targets individuals who advocate for LGBTQ rights. Many African nations still uphold colonial-era laws criminalising same-sex activity, and recent bills across the continent have sought to clarify or strengthen these laws, according to CNN.
A CNN investigation raised concerns about alleged ties between a US nonprofit and the formulation of such homophobic laws, although the group denied any connections. Despite the parliamentary approval, the bill awaits the president’s signature before becoming law.
United Nations Human Rights Chief Volker Turk expressed deep concern, calling the bill’s passage “profoundly disturbing” and urging the government to reconsider. Turk highlighted the broadening scope of criminal sanctions against LGBTQ individuals and their perceived allies, emphasising the potential threats to human rights.
UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima warned of the far-reaching consequences if the bill is enacted, asserting that it would adversely affect everyone and impede Ghana’s efforts in combating HIV and AIDS. Byanyima emphasised the importance of inclusive approaches, citing the crucial role they play in Ghana’s progress in the HIV response.
She cautioned that the legislation would hinder free speech, freedom of movement, and freedom of association while obstructing access to life-saving services, undermining social protection, and jeopardizing Ghana’s development success.
Byanyima highlighted that punitive laws like this bill act as barriers to ending AIDS and ultimately compromise public health, as reported by CNN.

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