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How The Diaspora Can Defend LGBTQ+ Rights In Africa & The Caribbean

On February 28th, Ghana’s parliament approved a proposal for new, harsher, anti-LGBTQ laws, titled The Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values bill. The legislation calls for an expansion of existing homophobic prohibitions in a country where same-sex relationships already carry a prison sentence of up to three years.

The bill criminalises the act of identifying as LGBTQ+, involvement in gender affirming surgeries and alliance with queer individuals or organisations. It mandates a duty to snitch on queer people, condemning anyone caught raising funds for queer communities to a maximum of five years imprisonment. Anyone deemed to be advocating for queer rights on social media could face up to ten years under the proposed laws. 

A Supreme Court challenge has been mounted against the bill, which activists are calling ‘unconstitutional’. President Akufo-Addo awaits the Supreme Court decision to take an official stance on the bill, which already has backing from both of the country’s popular political parties.

News of its passage through parliament provoked backlash from global human rights and aid groups, prompting a warning from Addo’s finance ministry that Ghana could lose billions of dollars worth of funding from the World Bank, if the bill is enacted. On March 6th, Ghana’s independence day, there were also a string of protests at Ghanaian embassies around the world. Adjoa-Sinéad, who attended the protest in London recalls an “energy of support” and feeling empowered by speakers such as Bisi Alimi, Lady Phyll and Darkwah.