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Ghana President Delays Assent To Anti-LGBTQ Bill

Ghana Suspends Payments On Eurobonds And Commercial Term Loans

Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo has said he will make his decision on the anti-LGBTQ bill after the Supreme Court rules on its constitutionality.

Last week, Gatekeepers News reported that Ghana’s parliament passed the “Promotion of proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill” opposing the rights of LGBTQ+ persons.

Gay sex was already punishable by up to three years in prison in Ghana.

The new bill imposes a prison sentence of up to five years for the “wilful promotion, sponsorship, or support of LGBTQ+ activities.”

It further proposes a jail term of up to 10 years for anyone involved in LGBTQ+ advocacy campaigns aimed at children, and encourages the public to report members of the queer community to authorities for “necessary action”.

Human rights activists and some Western nations including the United States kicked against the development.

The US said it was “deeply troubled” by the passage of the legislation, saying the crackdown would threaten all constitutionally protected freedoms of speech of Ghanaians, press, and assembly.

The US further called for a review of the constitutionality of the bill to preserve “Ghana’s tradition of tolerance, peace, and respect for human rights”.

The Director of Communications at Ghana’s Jubilee House, Eugene Arhin, in a statement on Monday, revealed that President Akufo-Addo said he was aware that the bill raised considerable anxieties in certain quarters of the diplomatic community and amongst some friends of Ghana.

The President said, “I want to assure you that no such back-sliding will be contemplated or occasioned.

“I think it will serve little purpose to go, at this stage, into the details of the origin of this proposed law, which is yet to reach my desk.

“But, suffice it to say, that I have learnt that, today, a challenge has been mounted at the Supreme Court by a concerned citizen to the constitutionality of the proposed legislation.

“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.

“The operation of the institutions of the Ghanaian state will determine the future trajectory of the rule of law and human rights compliance in our country.”

Earlier, the finance ministry warned that billions of dollars in World Bank funding could be lost if the bill became law.

Ghana is suffering a major economic crisis, and last year, used a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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