Ghana and Uganda echo each other’s clamp down on gay people

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04/26/2024

Ghana, despite its more solid reputation for democracy and respect for human rights than authoritarian Uganda, is joining it in more stringently criminalising homosexuality – and vacillating about the legislation to do that. Gay sex was already illegal in strongly religious, conservative Ghana before 2021 when legislators tabled the ‘Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill’ to criminalise even LGBTQ advocacy, and impose harsher jail terms for same-sex relations. The bill resembles a similar, more notorious one in Uganda, and both countries’ legislation have been following a rather convoluted legislative and political passage. Uganda’s Parliament first passed the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act in 2013. This criminalised consensual same-sex conduct with penalties of up to life imprisonment, and the death penalty for those convicted of ‘aggravated homosexuality,’ which could include just repeated consensual same-sex acts. The Constitutional Court annulled the law because it wasn’t passed according to correct parliamentary procedure, but the basic bill was eventually passed in May 2023.

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