The Executive Director of Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has cast doubt on whether President Akufo-Addo will assent to the controversial Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill that has been gazetted to be laid before Parliament.
Professor H Kwasi Prempeh speaking at a webinar series organised by the Mandela Washington Fellowship Association of Ghana, noted that by considering such an “extremist” Bill, the country is treading on a “slippery slope”.
Highlighting portions of the Bill, which bans people from advocating for gay practices to be legalised, the Executive Director said it infringes on Freedom of Speech and the right to join any association as stated in the supreme laws of the land.
“We should be cautious because the moment a Bill as extremist as this, is passed, it opens the door to other things. Because this is the most radical it can get, and if it passes, it means we can legislate a lot of other things.
“So for me, this slid down a slippery slope is something we have to avert by all means. As for passing in Parliament, it may well pass, whether or not the President will sign the Bill into law, it is doubtful,” he stated.
Should the Bill against gay practices be passed into law, Prof Prempeh doubts it may be feasible.
According to him, the Bill will face challenges in the judicial system due to some constitutional gaps. And even if he were to sign it into law, I think the judicial challenge will follow.
“It might even go beyond Ghana’s courts. It could go to regional courts because I think this is a very extreme display of intolerance,” he stated.
The legislation, titled “The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021”, seeks to ensure up to a 10-year jail term for LGBTQI people.
Groups and individuals who advocate for the rights of LGBTQI people or offer support, also face sanctions under the law.
The Bill has sparked outrage from human rights activists and persons sympathetic to LGBTQI people, but the proposed legislation has been welcomed by a significant number of Ghanaians and Christian groups.
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