US ‘deeply troubled’ by Ghana’s anti-gay bill

The United States has said it is “deeply troubled” by the passing in Ghana of a stringent anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, which it says threatens constitutional freedoms.

“The bill would also undermine Ghana’s valuable public health, media and civic spaces, and economy,” the US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.

It has called for the “review of the constitutionality of the bill”.

The new bill passed on Wednesday imposes a prison sentence of up to three years for anyone convicted of identifying as LGBTQ+. It also imposes a maximum five-year jail term for forming or funding LGBTQ+ groups.

The passing of the bill has been criticised by rights organisations and other groups.

Rightify Ghana strongly condemned “this regressive legislation, which poses a grave threat to the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ+ individuals in the country”.

UNAids executive director Winnie Byanyima said the bill, if it becomes law, could incite violence by Ghanaians against their fellow citizens.

She said that it will “obstruct access to life-saving services, undercut social protection, and jeopardise Ghana’s development success”.

The bill will be presented to President Nana Akufo-Addo after which he’ll have seven days to notify the speaker of parliament whether he assents to the bill or not, according to Ghana’s constitution.

Should he refuse, he then has 14 days to give reasons why, including provisions which in his view should be reconsidered by parliament.

Courtesy of BBC

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