Ghana’s Anti-LGBTQ Bill Could Cost Country $3.8 Billion

Ghana’s Anti-LGBTQ Bill Could Cost Country $3.8 Billion
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Ghana’s proposed anti-LGBTQ bill could lose the country $3.8 billion in World Bank financing.

Last week, Ghana’s parliament passed the anti-LGBTQ ‘Human Sexual Rights and Family Values’ bill.

Three Years For Identifying As LGBTQI

The bill mandates a prison sentence of up to three years for identifying as LGBTQI and up to five years for creating or financing LGBTQI groups.  The bill also mandates up to 10 years in prison for being in LGBTQ+ advocacy campaigns aimed at children.

To become law, the bill now has to be approved by Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo.

According to Reuters, if the bill becomes law, Ghana could lose $3.8 billion in World Bank financing over the next five to six years. Ghana’s finance ministry and human rights groups have called on Akufo-Addo to veto the bill. 

‘Veto The Bill’

Researcher at Human Rights Watch Larissa Kojoué said, “Ghana’s assaults on LGBT rights contradict its self-image as one of the friendliest nations in the world, and a safe, peaceful and hospitable country.

“The president should do the right thing by preserving civic space and protecting freedoms of speech and assembly, and veto the bill.”

‘Await The Decision Of The Court’

Akufo-Addo has delayed signing the bill, citing a challenge to the bill before the Supreme Court.

In a statement, Akufo-Addo said, “I have learnt that, today, a challenge has been mounted at the Supreme Court. 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.” 

Akufo-Addo also acknowledged that the bill “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.”

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