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NETRIGHT calls on President not to sign Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill

A Network for Women’s Right in Ghana (NETRIGHT) has called on President Akufo-Addo not to sign the Human Sexual Right and Family Value Bill, also known as Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill.

The NETRIGHT expressed its displeasure and disappointment about the passage of the Bill by Parliament on February 28, 2024 saying the concerns raised about the bill when it was first drafted had not been addressed.

A statement signed by Professor Akosua Darkwah, its Convener, copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said there had been no fundamental change in the intent and provisions of the Bill.

‘A read through of the Bill today shows that most of the concerns raised two years ago by NETRIGHT, other CSOs and public institutions have not been addressed,’ it said.

‘The Bill, if signed into law would not only create a climate of fear for LGBTQ+ persons, but also pose a clear threat to anyone considered an ally or advocate on LGBTQ+ issues.’

The statement said the Bill was unconstitutional as it was a violation of Article 17 of Ghana’s
Constitution, which established that everyone was equal before the law, and exacted a burden on the public purse in its implementation.

Since the law was introduced in Parliament in 2021, it had a sharp spike in the attacks on people merely suspected to be members of the LGBTQ+ community, it said.

It argued that the Bill, if passed into law, would make an already bad situation worse, adding; ‘While the bill supposedly makes provisions against the harassment of members of this community, the provisions are in fact contradictory and will do little to protect victims.’

‘The Bill in and of itself creates a hostile environment for members of the LGBTQ+ community, no one in Ghana should have to live in fear of their life on the account of their sexuality.’

The statement said the Bill failed to recognise the diverse forms of family in Ghana, including the extended family and expressed disappointment at the way some media houses and human rights activists had discussed the issue over the period and called for the
reshaping of the national discourse.

The NETRIGHT, therefore, called on the President not to sign the Bill on the grounds that it breached the 1992 Constitution as it was discriminative, harsh and punitive.

Source: Ghana News Agency