Will Ghana introduce some of the harshest anti-gay laws in the world?

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08/02/2022

In February 2021, a community centre for LGBTQ+ people in Ghana was closed down weeks after it had opened, following a wave of protests. As our west Africa correspondent, Emmanuel Akinwotu, explains to Michael Safi, the incident marked a new and dark chapter for gay rights in the country. Though previously homosexuality was still illegal in Ghana, the law had not been strictly policed, making the country a relatively safe space for LGBTQ+ people compared with its neighbours. Since the closure of the centre however, there has been a surge in homophobic abuse, and an organised religious movement is seeking to clamp down further on LGBTQ+ rights. Now a drastic anti-gay bill is passing through the Ghanaian parliament. It proposes not only 5-year sentences for LGBTQ+ people but also even harsher punishments for people who support or “advocate” for gay rights.

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