Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2021 passed

By Elsie Appiah-Osei

Accra, Feb 28, GNA – Parliament on Wednesday, February 28, passed the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2021, also known as LGBTQ+.

“Honourable Members, the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2021 has been read for the third time and passed,” Mr Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, announced on the Floor of the House.

The object of the Bill is to provide for proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian Family Values, which proscribe lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) and related activities.

The Bill proscribes LGBTQ+ activities and criminalises their promotion, advocacy and funding.

Persons caught in those acts would be subjected to six months to three-year jail term with promoters and sponsors of those acts bearing a three to five-year jail term.

The Bill would now require presidential assent to come into force.

Ahead of the passage, sponsors of the Bill filed a motion for a further consideration stage of the Bill.

Mr Samuel Nartey George, the lead sponsor, proposed that clauses 10 and 11 of the anti-lesbian gay, bisexual and transgender (anti-LGBT) Bill, which dealt with editorial policies of media firms, be subjected to article 12 of the 1992 Constitution that provides for the freedom of the media.

The amendments were approved by the House as part of the Bill.

Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, the Majority Leader, filed a motion for clause 12 of the Bill, which deals with the funding of LGBT activities to be subjected to the constitution but that was nullified by the House.

The passage of the Bill comes a day after the Board Chair of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to reject the Bill.

She said: “The bill undermines fundamental human rights protected by the Constitution, including the rights to dignity, freedom of speech and association, procession participation, academic freedom, equality, and non-discrimination.”

In May 2023, Uganda signed one of the world’s toughest anti-LGBT laws, including the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.”
Activists said it unleashed a wave of abuse and the World Bank suspended new funding to the country.

The United Nations said in 2021 that the proposed law, Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, would create “a system of state-sponsored discrimination and violence” against sexual minorities.