‘We’re deeply troubled’ — US kicks against Ghana’s anti-LGBTQ law


The United States has frowned on the new anti-LGBTQ law in Ghana.


On Wednesday, Ghana’s parliament passed a new bill opposing the rights of queer persons, and proposing a prison sentence of up to five years for the “wilful promotion, sponsorship, or support of LGBTQ+ activities”.


The bill also 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”.


Sam George, MP for Ningo-Prampram, who introduced the bill, described it as a major success and vowed to protect the country’s values.


George has been a vocal advocate for the crack down on LGBTQ+ activities in the country.


Reacting to the development in a statement issued by Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the US department of state, the United States said it was “deeply troubled” by the passage of the legislation.


Miller said the crack down would threaten all constitutionally protected freedoms of speech of Ghanaians, press, and assembly.


 “Limiting the rights of one group in a society undermines the rights of all,” the US government official added.


“Ghana’s tradition of tolerance, peace, and respect for human rights is a source of stability and prosperity that has long served as a model for countries around the globe.


“This legislation is inconsistent with these values and will, if it becomes law, undermine this laudable tradition.


“The United States echoes the call by those Ghanaians who have urged a review of the constitutionality of the bill to protect the rights of all individuals in Ghana.”


The new law has made Ghana the latest African country to pass stringent anti-LGBTQ legislation.


Last year, the Ugandan government passed a similar law but with more extreme penalties such as life imprisonment and death.


The World Bank said the law contradicted the bank’s values, as it seeks to protect gender and sexual minorities from exclusion in the projects it funds, and announced a halt in new financing to Uganda.


Two months later, the US announced plans to expel Uganda from the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a special US-Africa trade programme introduced in 2,000.


AGOA grants eligible sub-Saharan African countries, including Nigeria, duty-free access to the US for more than 1,800 products.

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