Anti-LGBT Bill: Coalition Of 18 CSOs Gear Up To Go To Court If Akufo-Addo Assents To Bill

Anti-LGBT Bill: Coalition Of 18 CSOs Gear Up To Go To Court If Akufo-Addo Assents To Bill

  • A coalition of 18 CSOs are lobbying President Akufo-Addo not to assent to the Anti-LGBT bill
  • They say the bill poses a major threat to the country's democratic dispensation among other things
  • They say if all else fails, they will head to court to have the bill quashed once and for all

Proponents Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill are of the preparing to face it off with a coalition of 18 civil society groups who are considering legal action if the President signs the recently passed bill into law.

The bill aims to criminalise LGBTQ+ activities in Ghana with penalties of up to three years in jail for individuals, and five years for promoters of such activity.

Anti-LGBT Bill: Coalition Of 18 CSOs Gear Up To Go To Court If Akufo-Addo Assents To Bill
Collage of LGBT flag and a gavel. Sources: Getty Images/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Prof Audrey Gadzekpo, Board Chair for the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development and member of the coalition says they are ready to challenge the bill in court.

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She has warned that the bill poses a major threat to the country’s democratic dispensation, hence, must not be assented to by the President.

“We’re going to continue our advocacy and continue to repeat like a broken record but worth repeating why this bill is harmful to our country’s democracy and our country’s development and we hope that the president will listen. So we will make representation to the president not to assent to the bill. And if that fails, to be sure to prepare we’ll prepare ourselves to go to court,” she said.

Proponents of the bill react to the coalition's threats of legal action

But the MP for Ho West and one of the proponents of the bill says they are ready to face them in court.

He said they are not deterred by the opposition to the bill and are confident they will come out victorious come what may.

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“We are prepared. Since the inception of this bill, 2021, we’ve had so many opposition from the likes of Audrey Gadzekpo, Takyiwaa Manu, Akoto Ampaw and others who stood against this bill, including some advocates who think that this bill should not be passed. Well thankfully, in any case we’re prepared,” he said.

The Executive Secretary of the Coalition for Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, Moses Foh-Amoaning is also saying that they are positive President Aklufo-Addo will assent to the bill.

“I think the President is a very smart politician, I don't think he’s going to buy into those false arguments about democracy and human rights and all of that,” he said.

Christian community fully supports bill’s passage

Meanwhile, the Christian community is firmly behind the proponents of the bill.

In an interview with JoyNews, former General Secretary of the Christian Council, Rev Dr Kwaben Opuni Frimpong urged the President not to be deterred by threats of the country losing foreign aid and foreign direct investment as a result of the bill’s passage.

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He said the President should embody his own mantra of Ghana Beyond Aid and forge ahead without paying heed to those that threaten to withdraw their aid.

“Let’s build our country, the president raised this issue that we must build Ghana Beyond Aid, this is the time. That even if people will run away from us with their aid, let us do what in our own consciousness we know is right for us. Even if we’re wrong we must be sincerely wrong,” he said.

The UN raises concern about passage of the bill

The United Nations on the other hand has taken a strong stance against the passage, in a separate statement from the High Commissioner on Human Rights under UNAIDS, the Executive Director, Volker Türk, described the bill as “deeply harmful and a threat to public health”.

The UN also believes that this will also undermine and jeopardise Ghana’s strides to end the spread of AIDS.

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US State Department condemns bill’s passage has reported that The United States, through the US State Department has also condemned the bill.

It says it is deeply troubled by Parliament’s passage of the anti-LGBTQ bill.

It has called for a review of the bill's constitutionality, officially called the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, to protect the rights of all persons in Ghana.

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