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Members of Ghana’s LGBTQ Community are Worried about the Implications of New Bill

Ghana’s parliament has passed legislation that intensifies a crackdown on the rights of LGBTQ people and those promoting lesbian, gay or other non-conventional sexual or gender identities in the West African country. The new legislation passed on Wednesday imposes a prison sentence of up to five years for the “wilful promotion, sponsorship or support of LGBTQ+ activities”. The bill still has to be validated by the president before becoming law, which observers believe is unlikely before a general election in December. Activist groups have called the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values bill a setback for human rights and urged President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government to reject it. But the legislation is widely supported in Ghana, where Akufo-Addo has said gay marriage will never be allowed while he is in power. Commonly referred to as the anti-gay bill, the sweeping legislation received sponsorship from a coalition comprising Christian, Muslim and Ghanaian traditional leaders, and passed through an unopposed voice vote.