All Out petition against Ghana’s homophobic law

The petition promoted by All Out will try to block the approval of a bill that could legitimize State homophobia in the African country.

Ghana’s parliament will next month discuss and, if necessary, approve or reject the bill “Promotion of Adequate Human Sexual Rights and Family Values in Ghana” proposed by eight parliamentarians. The bill, if passed, would criminalize those who “present themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, pansexual, ally, non-binary or under any other sexual or gender identity contrary to the binary categories of male and female”.

The punishment for these ‘offences’ will be between 3 and 6 years imprisonment. It also affects people who marry or claim to marry a person of the same sex, as well as those who practice sex and more. The text is considered by many to be the most homophobic in the world, and also aims to hit those who are active in the fight against homo transphobia and for civil rights for LGBT people.

You risk a 6-year prison sentence if the illegal activity is directed at minors, and 10 years for propaganda or promotion or support to the LGBT battle through any channel of information (e.g., television, internet, social media and newspapers) and you also risk for people who constitute, promote or participate in or support indirectly and directly LGBT civil rights associations that will be disbanded.

Here is the text of the petition promoted by All Out: “This anti-LGBT+ bill is among the most severe and cruel in recent history. Ghanaian activists call it “every homophobe’s dream”.

If passed, any person suspected of being LGBT+ or supporting LGBT+ friends, colleagues, family, or neighbours could be punished with up to five years imprisonment. Fighting for LGBT+ rights could cost up to 10 years in prison.

The bill also promotes so-called “conversion therapies”, harmful and discredited practices that claim to be able to change sexual orientation or gender identity.

Ghanaian LGBT+ people are no strangers to attacks, especially in recent months. Activists and community members fear a dramatic increase in discrimination and violence if the law is passed.

We call on the Ghanaian authorities to reject the bill. If Ghana really wants to be a champion of democracy, as its leaders often claim, it must respect the rights and freedoms of every Ghanaian, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.


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