The Ghanaian government must protect the safety and existence of LGBTQ+ people, and immediately reject the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021. Read Access Now and and civil society partners’ joint open letter to the government of Ghana.
The bill, backed by a local conservative organization with ties to U.S. anti-LGBTQ+ lobby groups, has been described by leading human rights experts “to constitute an immediate and fundamental breach of Ghana’s obligations under human rights law.” It seeks to not only criminalize the existence of LGBTQ+ people, but also ban LGBTQ+ content, prohibit advocacy online, and impose liability on social media companies for the content posted on their platforms.
The draftees claim this legislation is necessary for the protection of public morality, but it will worsen the dangers LGBTQ+ people already experience such as disinformation campaigns and discriminatory device searches. The creation of this repressive environment will isolate LGBTQ+ people from networks of support and conceal the violations that they experience. Human rights activists have reported that threats against the LGBTQ+ community have worsened since the tabling of the bill.
The bill, which was tabled in July, 2021, will reportedly undergo its second reading soon. Access Now and civil society partners demand that:
- The Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs recommend that the Parliament of Ghana reject the bill in its entirety;
- The Parliament of Ghana reject the bill in its entirety;
- The Attorney General revise his position on Clauses 12 and 13 of the bill that ban LGBTQ+ content on social media, and recommend that the Parliament reject the bill in totality; and
- The parliament vote to repeal Section 104 (2) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, which criminalizes “same sex acts” and could facilitate police phone seizures.
Read the joint open letter.