Assaults on the LGBTQ+ neighborhood have reportedly elevated in Ghana since an anti-gay draft invoice was launched within the nation final yr. The invoice is at the moment beneath evaluate by a parliament committee.
A current report by The Guardian mentioned there have been two situations the place women and girls have been allegedly raped by males for “being lesbian”. The report quoted a Ghana queer activist as saying, “For the reason that invoice got here out, we’ve seen a pointy rise in lots of kinds of violence… assaults from people, from communities. We’re additionally seeing an enormous rise in ‘corrective rape’.”
Whereas the conduct of sexual actions between individuals of the identical intercourse is already unlawful in Ghana, if the invoice is handed, it’ll fully criminalise individuals of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood together with activist teams or people who communicate out of their favour.
Activists have mentioned if the invoice is handed in its present type, it might result in a witch hunt for individuals who are part of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood or belong to sexual minorities.
What are the provisions in Ghana’s anti-gay invoice?
The invoice, titled ‘Promotion of correct human sexual rights and Ghanaian household values invoice’, has been backed by probably the most outstanding anti-gay figures in Ghana’s parliament, opposition MP Sam George. It has garnered the assist of MPs throughout celebration traces.
“The thing of the Invoice is to offer for correct human sexual rights and Ghanaian household values; proscribe LGBTQ+ and associated actions; proscribe propaganda of, advocacy for, or promotion of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and associated actions; present for the safety of and assist for kids, individuals who’re victims or accused of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and associated actions and different individuals; and associated issues.”
The invoice describes the LGBTQ+ neighborhood as a “taboo, inhuman and alien to our society”. It provides, “the thought of man marrying man and girl marrying girl is an abomination to our custom and tradition as Ghanaians…”.
If handed, the legislation will criminalise anybody who identifies as an LGBTQ+ particular person, is in a homosexual relationship, or has intercourse with the identical intercourse. The invoice proposes imprisonment for as much as 5 years.
“The Invoice applies to an individual who holds out as a lesbian, a homosexual, a bisexual, a transgender, a transsexual, a queer, an ally, a pansexual, or an individual of another sociocultural notion of intercourse or sexual relationship that’s opposite to the sociocultural notions of female and male or the connection between female and male.”
As soon as the invoice has been reviewed by a parliamentary committee, it is going to be despatched to the MPs for amendments, earlier than there’s one other parliament studying and voting.
The invoice proposes to carry all allies and advocates of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood accountable, and imprison them for as much as 5 years.
Additionally, anybody who “promotes” or advocates actions or rights of the LGBTQ neighborhood, can even be held accountable and may face imprisonment of as much as 10 years.
“An individual makes use of an digital gadget, the web service, a movie, or another gadget able to digital storage or transmission to provide, procure, market, broadcast, disseminate, publish or distribute a fabric for functions of selling an exercise prohibited beneath the Invoice commits an offence and is liable on abstract conviction to a time period of imprisonment of not lower than 5 years and less than 10 years. Clause 12 additionally prohibits an individual from participating or taking part in an exercise that promotes, helps sympathy for or a change of public opinion in direction of an act prohibited beneath the Invoice commits an offence and is liable on abstract conviction to a time period of imprisonment of not lower than 5 years or no more than ten years.”
Not simply this, the invoice additionally proposes to punish those that bear gender reassignment or “creation of a sexual class aside from the class of an individual assigned at beginning”. Those that marry or intend to marry somebody who had undergone gender reassignment surgical procedure will also be criminalised beneath the invoice with a penalty of as much as 5 years of imprisonment.
Together with this, the invoice additionally proposes to criminalise cross-dressing, which might let the authorities in prosecuting anybody who doesn’t gown as per their organic intercourse.
“Such acts imply a public present of amorous relations between or amongst individuals of the identical intercourse, or the place a number of of the individuals concerned have undergone gender or intercourse reassignment and intentional cross-dressing to painting a gender totally different from a gender assigned at beginning to the particular person, with intent to interact in an act prohibited beneath the invoice … is liable on abstract conviction to a time period of imprisonment of not lower than six months and never multiple yr.”
The invoice proposes to declare that same-sex marriages and marriages with individuals who have undergone intercourse reassignment surgical procedures as void.
“An individual who, in Ghana, administers, witnesses, abets or aids the solemnisation of a wedding or points, aids or abets in procuring a certificates commits a misdemeanor and is liable on abstract conviction to a time period of imprisonment of not lower than one yr and less than three years.”
Intersex remedy and medical remedy
The invoice additionally proposes offering entry to “medical assist or remedy” to the members of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood. It’ll enable individuals to hunt “remedy or any help” required.
“The federal government is empowered to liaise with an authorised service supplier to offer help within the type of remedy or another help related to the circumstance, to individuals who could also be questioning their intercourse or for a mum or dad whose baby is intersex with a purpose to, the place essential, help the mum or dad realign the kid to the suitable binary designation as decided by a medical practitioner.”
Adoption in case mum or dad is from LGBTQ neighborhood
The invoice proposes permitting courts to refuse the adoption of kids or fosterage if the applicant is “a lesbian, a homosexual, a bisexual, a transgender, a transsexual, a queer, an ally, a pansexual, intersex, questioning or an individual of another sociocultural notion of intercourse or sexual relationship that’s opposite to the sociocultural notions of female and male or the connection between women and men.”