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Parliament approves 3 to 5 year custodial sentence for LGBTQI+ activists



Ghana’s Parliament has approved a contentious bill proposing custodial sentences ranging from 3 to 5 years for individuals promoting LGBTQ+ rights. 

Individuals who willfully promote, sponsor, or support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ (LGBTQ+) activities could face imprisonment for a minimum of six months to a maximum of three years. 

The bill, aimed at promoting traditional Ghanaian family values, was debated during parliamentary proceedings, with Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George stating that Ghanaians oppose the advocacy of such activities but respect individuals’ privacy.

Explaining the breakdown of the sentences, George emphasized, “For individuals caught engaging in these activities themselves, the punishment ranges from a minimum of six months to a maximum of three years. However, for those actively promoting, sponsoring, or supporting such agendas, the penalty increases to a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years.”

Supporters of the bill contend that it reflects Ghana’s commitment to preserving its cultural identity and moral fabric. They argue that promoting LGBTQ+ rights goes against the core values embedded in Ghanaian society and could potentially lead to moral degradation.

However, critics view the legislation as a violation of basic human rights and an infringement on freedom of expression. Human rights advocates, both within Ghana and internationally, have raised concerns about the potential for discrimination and persecution against the LGBTQ+ community. The passing of this bill has sparked a renewed conversation on the delicate balance between cultural preservation and the protection of individual rights in a rapidly changing global landscape.

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