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UK Parliament expected to meet Ghanaian MPs today over anti-gay bill

Source The Ghana Report

The Commonwealth Parliament Association is expected to meet members of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Ghana’s Parliament today, Monday, 13 June 2022, over an anti-gay bill.

The Chair of the Committee, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, who revealed this, said the invitation to Ghana’s lawmakers would also focus on issues relating to death penalty.

Same-sex sexual activity is prohibited in Ghana.

Ghana’s Criminal Code 1960 criminalizes acts of unnatural carnal knowledge. This provision carries a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment.

Over the years, there has been a huge debate to clarify what ‘unnatural carnal knowledge’ means.

The law was inherited from the British during the colonial period, in which the English criminal law was imposed upon Ghana. Ghana retained the provision in its first Criminal Code upon independence, which remains in force, and continues to abhor same-sex sexual activity today.

The grey area of same-sex sexual activity in Ghana’s constitution has resulted in an anti-LGBTQ+ Bill which explicitly criminalizes LGBTQ+ activities.

The Bill is currently before Parliament.

“It is one of the subjects that we have to deal with. Amongst other things, we have to meet the Ghana Mission and then we also discuss this LGBTQ issue. Particularly, I am interested in it because we have a law that emanated from our colonial masters in our static books, which says that unnatural carnal knowledge is an offence, but they (the UK) happened to pass the LGBTQ. They are not in favour of it (the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill). We are seeking to pass a bill that will go against them (UK). How did they get there? I will be interested to know,” Mr Anyimadu-Antwi said on TV3.

The Minority in Parliament has accused Mr Anyimadu-Antwi of deliberately delaying the passage of the Bill, but he has vehemently resisted such claims.

He explained that contrary to claims that the passage of the Bill has been delayed, the Committee has completed the public hearing and will proceed with the clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill and submit its report to the plenary.

Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George, and eight other MPs are sponsoring the Bill that prohibits activities of homosexuals in the country.

On Monday, 6 June 2022, sponsors of the anti-LGBT+ Bill in Parliament issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare, to pull down billboards mounted across the city to promote the activities of homosexuals.

The giant billboards were erected on major roads in the country to commemorate the gay pride month, which falls in June each year.

One of such billboards sighted on the Accra-Tema motorway was later removed.

Over the past few months, a number of events have taken place surrounding the small but growing LGBTQ+ community in Ghana.

In February 2021, the headquarters of Ghana’s official LGBTQ+ support group called LGBT+ Rights Ghana was subject to a raid by police after the centre became the target of a furious public backlash. That led to the forced closure of the centre, which had opened barely a month. Following the raid, LGBTQ+ Ghanaians and their supporters began to push back, fighting for the rights and equality of the group using online advocacy, fundraising, and other means.

 

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