This week, Vice President Kamala Harris embarked on an African tour that included a highly anticipated stop in Ghana. The country is currently under a tremendous amount of scrutiny in light of the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Value” bill, which would jail those who identify as LGBTQ.
In addition, the bill would also legally punish people who advocate for LGBTQ rights. On Monday, which was Harris’ first full day in Accra, she shared that her and Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo discussed human rights. Now, it seems that Akufo-Addo is trying to backpedal. During a joint press conference, Harris said:
“I feel very strongly about the importance of supporting the freedom and supporting the fighting for equality among all people, and that all people be treated equally. I will also say that this is an issue that we consider, and I consider to be a human rights issue, and that will not change.” In response, Akufo-Addo stated that “substantial elements” of the anti-LGBTQ bill being considered by its parliament “have been modified.”
VP Harris, in Ghana, addresses human rights amid anti-LGBTQ efforts in Africa
He added: “The bill is going through the parliament. The attorney general has found it necessary to speak to the committee (the constitutional and legal committee of parliament) about it regarding the constitutionality … of several of its provisions. The parliament is dealing with it. At the end of the process, I will come in.”
Following parliamentary deliberations, a final bill will be sent to the president for his approval. In its original form, supporters of the LGBTQ community would face up to 10 years in prison. Also, same-sex public displays of affection or cross-dressing could lead to a fine or even time in jail.
The law would also make the distribution of material regarded as pro-LGBTQ by news outlets or organizations illegal. Furthermore, it asks Ghanaian citizens to report people they believe to be LGBTQ.
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