Wednesday, 29 May

No legislation against gays; anti-LGBTQ+ bill modified, I’ll come in at the end of the process – Akufo-Addo

Kamala Harris and Nana Akufo-Addo addressing the press

The issue of LGBTQI+ raised its head for public discourse again during a joint press conference of the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and US Vice President Kamala Harris at the Jubilee House on Monday, 27 March 2023, during the latter’s state visit to the West African country.

Asked about the issues of human rights with regards to protecting the rights of homosexuals in Ghana, a country she had visited which is preparing a law against gays, the US Vice President maintained homosexuality is an issue of human rights and that will not change for her.

Although she diplomatically did not comment on Ghana’s Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill currently before parliament, she maintained that she was a human rights advocate who supports the freedom of all persons.

"I feel very strongly about the importance of supporting freedom and supporting the fighting for equality among all people, and that all people be treated equally. I will also say that this is an issue that we consider, and I consider to be a human rights issue, and that will not change," Ms Harris stated.

For his part, President Akufo-Addo corrected the notion that Ghana has passed laws against homosexuals.

He said the anti-LGBTQ+ bill currently before parliament has been modified to take into account the protection of human rights and the feelings of the population and at the end of the process “I will come in”.

The president told journalists "First of all we don't have any such legislation here in Ghana, a bill has been proposed to the Parliament of Ghana which has all kinds of ramifications which are now being considered by the parliament.

"It hasn't been passed, so the statement that there is legislation in Ghana to that effect is not accurate. No legislation.

"The bill is going through the parliament, it's going through the parliament, the Attorney General has found it necessary to speak to the committee about it regarding the constitutionality or otherwise of several of its provisions and the Parliament is dealing with it but at the end of the process, I will come in.

"I have no doubt that the Parliament of Ghana will sure as it is done in the past, one first of all, its sensitivity to Human Rights issues as well as to the feelings of our population and we'll come out of the responsible response to the to the proposed legislation.

"It's a private member's bill this is not an official legislation of the government but it is one that has been being mooted by a handful of private members, so we will see what the final outcome of it. But my understanding from a recent discussion I had with the chairman of the committee is substantial elements of the bill have already been modified as a result of the intervention of the Attorney General, we will see what the final outcome will be..."


Source: Mensah