Wednesday, July 19, 2023


On July 7, 2023, Ghana’s 275 members of Parliament unanimously passed an extreme anti-gay bill, which is set to tighten laws against members of the LGBTQ+ community.  the bill, known as the 2021 Promotion of Appropriate Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill. 

Although not as severe as Ugandas Kill the Gays bill signed into law by the clueless, corrupt President Yoweri Museveni, Ghanas version is plenty draconian enough.

  • 3 to 5 years of imprisonment for engaging in same-sex intercourse;
  • 5 to 10 years of imprisonment for anyone who produces, procures, or distributes material deemed to be "promoting LGBT+ activities;"
  • A requirement for citizens and institutions to "promote and protect proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values";
  • 6 months to 1 year imprisonment for a "public show of amorous relations" between people of the same sex;
  • 6 months to 1 year imprisonment for a "public show of amorous relations " with someone who has undergone gender reassignment or who cross-dresses;
  • A ban on providing trans healthcare.

  • The language in this bill is written by a bunch of rabid, LGBTQ-hating, ignorant idiots. I cannot even express the depth of my disgust with these people. I draw your attention to the vague, subjective nature of some of the clauses in the bill: What does promoting LGBTQ+ activities mean? Answer: Whatever you damn well please.

    What does it mean for "citizens and institutions to promote and protect proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values? I havent a clue. It could mean anything. 

    Ghanas bill is part of an epidemic of anti-gay legislation sweeping the continent of Africa. Ill present a more in-depth review of the issues in a couple of weeks, but just for perspective, out of the 54 countries in Africa, discrimination against LGBTQ persons is illegal only in Angola, Botswana, Cape Verde, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, and South Africa. The rest have different penalties for homosexuality up to and including the death penalty e.g. Uganda, or are revamping old laws to render them more severe, e.g. Kenya. 

    In Ghana, just as in the USA, the bill must go to Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo desk for his signature, or assent, as they call it. One might argue about how skilled a politician Akufo-Addo is, but hes certainly not the idiot that Museveni is. Ghana enjoys a particularly elevated status with the USA. If Akufo-Addo assents to this bill, it will be an error of colossal proportions.

    In view of this, I have written open letter to President Akufo-Addo, which you can read below. I sent it to his official email, but the chance that he or his Chief of Staff will actually read it is slim to none--Ghanaians dont read emails. Okay, that was a little snarky. I think the problem is really that they dont respond to them.

    To: His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, The President of the Republic of Ghana, Jubilee House, Kanda, Accra, Ghana.

    12 July 2023

    Dear Mr. President,


    I write to you with deep concern and a fervent plea for you to consider the long-term implications of signing into law the Bill for Proper Human Sexual Relations and Ghanaian Family Values, which was recently passed by Parliament. While it is essential to uphold Ghana’s cherished cultural values and societal norms, it is equally crucial to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms that underpin our democratic state.

    As a Ghanaian-American deeply invested in Ghana’s future, I am anxious about the potential repercussions this legislation could have on our global reputation, our economy, and, most importantly, the lives of countless LGBTQIA+ Ghanaians who may be directly or indirectly affected.

    This Bill infringes on the principles of equality, non-discrimination, and privacy that are enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. It threatens to marginalize and further alienate LGBTQIA+ individuals based on their sexual orientation and personal choices, which are inherently private and should not be subject to legal scrutiny. 

    By endorsing such a Bill, we stand to compromise our collective commitment to human rights, which could undermine Ghana's reputation as a beacon of democratic values in Africa. Ghana stands head and shoulders above many African countries on many levels, and some look to Ghana for guidance. We simply cannotblindly follow Uganda’s horrendous example of their draconian “Kill the Gays” law. We are much, much better than that. In some ways, Ghana’s Parliament isn’t elevating Ghana’s international standing, it is taking a wrecking ball to it.

    You know better than I that the enforcement of this Bill could have severe implications for our economy. Ghana's economic growth and development largely hinge on strong ties with international partners and stakeholders, many of whom champion inclusivity and human rights. Approval of this Bill could strain these relationships, potentially leading to reductions in foreign investments, trade, tourism, aid, and healthcare initiatives. 

    According to UN AIDS, Ghana saw a 21% fall in the incidence of HIV between 2010 and 2021 due to the results of sex education, preventive measures, and the care medical providers render to LGBTQIA+ persons. The Bill threatens to reverse these gains because it will drive the LGBTQIA+ community underground and make individuals afraid to seek medical care. This will lead inevitably to the unchecked spread of HIV, which is not in Ghana’s interest.

    I urge you, Mr. President, to strongly and deeply reconsider assenting to this Bill. I implore you to engage with civil society, human rights advocates, legal experts, religious leaders, and the wider Ghanaian public to carefully deliberate further on the implications of this law. Such a step would reinforce our democratic ideals of dialogue, compromise, and consensus-building.

    Mr. President, Ghana has a long history of upholding human dignity and promoting peace. As we strive to build a society where all individuals are accorded their due rights and freedoms, it is imperative that we refrain from institutionalizing laws that may perpetuate division and discrimination. We simply cannot go backwards on human rights. We must strive forward.

    I trust that you will put the best interests of the people of Ghana at heart, and continue to be a stalwart leader for human rights and inclusivity in our great nation. I know personally that your capacity for nuanced thought and reasoning far exceeds that of many African leaders. Thank you for your dedication to serving our country and its people.

    Yours faithfully,

    Kwei M Jones-Quartey, M.D.

    Pasadena, California


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