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When it comes to LGBTQ, Ghana’s political parties are happy to ...

World

When it comes to LGBTQ, Ghana’s political parties are happy to share a bed

Ruling party and opposition legislators are sponsoring a bill to, among other things, jail LGBTQ people

Yinka Ibukun

When it comes to cracking down on the LGBTQ community, not much separates Ghana’s two main political parties.

A lawmaker from the ruling party has joined seven opposition legislators to sponsor a bill to punish LGBTQ people with prison time, legalise discrimination and force anyone who knows someone is gay to report that person to the authorities. The proposed legislation also prevents journalists from producing content seen to be sympathetic to LGBTQ people and advocates conversion therapy, a practice the UN said can lead to torture.

The opening, and forced closure in February, of an LGBTQ community centre in Accra provided political fodder to both sides to defend Ghana’s “family values”. The bill’s main sponsor, Sam George, has since presented himself as a defender of these values on CNN and the BBC, using language that resonates with the country’s influential religious groups. The bill is being debated at committee level and will then be submitted to parliament for a second reading...

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