Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ghana’s Anti-LGBTQ Bill: An Update

A representation of a dilapidated Freedom and Justice Arch of Ghana
Is Ghana’s Freedom and Justice Crumbling?


How We Got Here: Brief History of the Bill

The controversial anti-LGBTQ bill in Ghana, officially known as the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, was first introduced in 2021. The bill aims to severely restrict the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and includes harsh penalties such as prison terms for both LGBTQ+ individuals and those advocating for their rights. This legislation has been shaped by widespread support within the Ghanaian Parliament and is backed by various religious and traditional groups in Ghana​ (Human Rights Watch)​​ (Wikipedia)​.

Modifications of the Bill & Sponsoring Parliamentarians

The bill has undergone several readings and amendments in Parliament, reflecting intense debates on its constitutional validity and human rights implications. It criminalizes the promotion, advocacy, and funding of LGBTQ+ rights and activities. Key figures in these discussions include MP Sam George, who has been vocally supportive of the bill, positioning it as a defense of traditional Ghanaian values against foreign influence​ (Human Rights Watch)​.

Passage of the Bill

The Parliament passed the bill unanimously in February 2024 after rigorous debate and modifications. It includes provisions that impose stiff penalties on LGBTQ+ individuals and their supporters, and the law extends its reach to various aspects of public advocacy and private support for LGBTQ+ rights​ (JURIST—Legal News & Commentary)​.

The Bill Challenged in the Supreme Court of Ghana

Following its passage, the bill faced legal challenges in the Supreme Court, reflecting the significant opposition from human rights groups and concerns over its compatibility with international human rights standards. These legal proceedings are critical as they test the bill against Ghana's constitutional protections for individual rights and freedoms​ (The Star)​.

President Nana Akufo-Addo's Stance

President Nana Akufo-Addo has not yet signed the bill into law, citing the ongoing legal challenge in the Supreme Court as the basis for his hesitation. This situation has created tension between the legislative and executive branches of government, which has implications for Ghana's international relations and economic situation, as the bill could potentially affect international aid and support​ (The Star)​​ (Wikipedia)​.


Ghana has long been regarded as a leader in Africa for its stable democracy, significant economic progress, and influential cultural contributions. It's often seen as a beacon of peace and governance standards on the continent. However, the introduction and potential passage of the anti-LGBTQ bill represent a significant departure from these progressive ideals, aligning Ghana with a troubling trend of increasing anti-LGBTQ sentiment and legislation sweeping across some African nations.

This legislative move is particularly disheartening given Ghana's reputation. It suggests a regression of human rights and individual freedoms, contradicting the global movement towards inclusivity and equality. Such actions not only impact the rights and lives of LGBTQ individuals in Ghana but also potentially tarnish Ghana's international image as a forward-thinking and open society. The enforcement of these measures can lead to increased discrimination, violence against LGBTQ individuals, and a general climate of fear and repression.

Moreover, the bill could have broader socio-economic repercussions. For instance, punitive measures against the LGBTQ community could affect international relations and economic support, as evidenced by warnings from international bodies and countries that value human rights and inclusivity​ (Wikipedia)​. The situation poses a complex challenge: balancing deeply ingrained cultural and religious values with modern human rights principles and global citizenship. This development is a stark reminder of the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ rights and the necessity of vigilant advocacy and dialogue to uphold the dignity and rights of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.


  1. Thank you so much for breaking this down so clearly and intelligently, Kwei. Its implications, world wide, are truly significant.

  2. I agree with Wendall. But I have to ask, why would the government take this on? What other issue are they trying to cover up by going after something which is a loss loss for them? I guess I'm just cynical these days.