Anti-LGBT+ Bill: No cause for anxiety – Akufo-Addo assures diplomatic community, others

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has allayed the fears of members of the diplomatic community and international organisations that have expressed concerns over the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, also known as the anti-LGBT+ Bill.

The Bill was recently approved via a unanimous vote by the Parliament of Ghana.

In a statement dated Monday, March 4, 2024, the president stated that while he has become aware of the anxieties expressed about the approval of the bill, the international community should be assured that Ghana will not backslide on its record as a nation that protects human rights.

“I am aware that last week’s bi-partisan passage by Parliament of the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, on a Private Member’s motion, has raised considerable anxieties in certain quarters of the diplomatic community and amongst some friends of Ghana that she may be turning her back on her, hitherto, enviable, longstanding record on human rights observance and attachment to the rule of law.

“I want to assure you that no such back-sliding will be contemplated or occasioned,” the president said

On whether he was going to assent to the bill, the president said all issues around the bill which is yet to reach his desk have been put on hold until further notice.

This, he noted, is due to a suit filed by a private citizen challenging the constitutionality of the bill.

“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.

The bill in its current form prohibits same-sex marriage and prescribes punishment, including jail terms against practitioners and promoters of LGBT+.

Following the approval of the bill by parliament last week, several diplomatic outfits including the US government as well as international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund have expressed concerns over the bill while threatening repercussions if it is made a law.

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