Ghana's 'anti-LGBTQI+ draft bill' leaks on social media

BY: Kweku Zurek
Ningo-Prampram MP Sam George
Ningo-Prampram MP Sam George

Sections of a draft bill that seeks to criminalise same-sex activities in Ghana have been leaked on social media.

The draft bill is being introduced to Parliament by eight Members of Parliament (MPs) namely; the Tamale North MP Alhassan Suhuyini, the La Dadekotopon MP, Rita Odoley Sowah; the Krachi West MP, Helen Ntoso; the South Dayi MP, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor; the Kpando MP, Della Adjoa Sowah; the Ho West MP, Emmanuel Dedzrah; the Assin South MP, John Ntim Forjour and the Ningo-Prampram MP Sam Nartey George. The bill is christened: The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021.

As part of the leaked draft bill, the legislators want a prohibition of any surgical sex-change procedures. They have also asked countries promoting the rights of LGBTQI+ persons to refrain from the use of threats of force against the independence of Ghana, citing the UN Charter which recognises the sovereignty of member states.

Additionally, individuals of the same sex who engage in sexual intercourse are “liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than seven hundred and fifty penalty units and not more than five thousand penalty units, or to a term of imprisonment of not less than three years and not more than five years or both.”

Some culprits will also face jail terms of up to ten years depending on the crime if the bill is passed in its current state.

Leak

Confirming the leak, Ningo-Prampram MP said the bill was not yet a public document because it was being gazetted. He also expects that the bill will be passed into law by Parliament and receive Presidential assent before the end of the year.

"...I will not be going into the details of the bill now because this bill is undergoing gazetting, after gazetting it becomes a public document. Someway, somehow, someone has leaked it to the media and the media is engaged in all types of interpretations," Sam George said in an interview on Accra-based Joy FM.

"I believe that the issues that are defined as crime or as offensive in the act are clear. I mean a conversation or an interview of this nature I do not believe is promoting of homosexuality...".

Declining not to go into the details of the bill, Sam George however revealed that the bill clearly defines promotion and advocacy of LGBTGI+ activities as well as what sexual intercourse constitutes in Ghana.

'Sexual preferences not a human right'

He also challenged assertions that the bill when passed into law will infringe on the human rights of persons resident in Ghana.

According to him, sexual preferences are not deemed human rights in Ghana's constitution.

He said: "The laws in Ghana are clear, I challenge anybody, any lawyer in this country to show me where in the 1992 constitution it says that sexual preferences are fundamental human rights. Homosexuality is a sexual preference, It is not a fundamental human right".

He however maintained that the bill guarantees the right to a fair trial to anyone accused of engaging in homosexuality.

Read the entire draft bill below;