As the large sections of the world seek to roll-back rights and protections for LGBTQ+ people, Ghana is leading the way with a terrifying anti-LGBTQ+ bill that is currently going through their parliament.

Ghana Parliament
Ghana Parliament

I can’t say that I am fully versed in what life for LGBTQ+ people in Ghana is like, and hopefully, Trans Writes can find a trans person from the country to write for us, even if it has to be anonymously, but what I read this morning is some of the most frightening news I’ve come across in a while, and that’s saying something given our current climate.

I won’t go into too much detail because, as I say, I know little about it, but I do feel it’s important enough that we need to raise awareness, so I hope this can kick that off.

If you aren’t absolutely furious, and terrified, by reading what this new bill wants to do, perhaps read it again.

A brief overview of what this new Ghanaian bill proposes:

  • Up to five years in prison for simply identifying as an LGBTQ+ person, having a gay relationship or sex with someone of the same gender, getting married, or intending to marry.
  • Any show of affection in public between people of the same sex will be criminalised as an act of ‘gross indecency’.
  • Will enable the prosecution of anyone who ‘cross dresses’ allowing them to target anyone who deviates from defined gender norms, regardless of their gender identity.
  • ‘Corrective’ surgery for intersex people will be ‘recommended’ by the State. The decision on which sex to assign to the person will be taken by a doctor.
  • Up to 10 years in prison for ‘promoting’ for LGBTQ+ rights.
  • There will be a ‘duty to report’ for citizens who suspect a person is breaking any of the new rules.

The bill has been before parliament for a year and is currently being reviewed by a parliamentary committee where it could be amended. As it currently stands, however, it is expected to spark a ‘witch-hunt’ according to rights groups.