Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo Says Ghana’s Anti-Gay Bill Has Been Modified
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday said the anti-gay bill, which is being debated in the country’s parliament, has been modified after the intervention of the government, reported The BBC.
Speaking during a joint news conference with United States Vice-President Kamala Harris on Monday, Mr. Akufo-Addo said the bill was not official government policy. He said it had been put forward by some private members.
The Ghanaian president said the attorney general had submitted opinions to a parliamentary committee about the constitutionality or otherwise of several provisions of the bill.
“My understanding … is that substantial elements of the bill have already been modified as a result of the intervention of the attorney general,” he said without giving any more details.
President Akufo-Addo refused to say what he will do if the bill gets passed. He said he hoped the parliament would consider the sensitivity of the human rights aspect. He added that he will see what the final outcome will be.
Commenting on the issue, the US Vice President Ms. Harris said she had addressed the matter with President Akufo-Addo and said that Washington considered it a matter of human rights.
Notably, the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Value Bill proposes the imprisonment of people who identify as LGBTQ and criminalizes advocacy for gay rights.
The Ghanaian parliament began holding public hearings on the anti-gay bill in 2021. It remains unclear when the bill will be put to a vote in the parliament.
In Ghana, gay sex is already punishable with imprisonment of up to three years. In the African country, where homophobic attitudes are widespread, the anti-gay bill, once turned into a law, would impose longer sentences.
Mr. Akufo-Addo has previously spoken against same-sex marriage. He said that same-sex marriage would never be legalized until he remains the president.