Ghanaians and allies in New York and California on Monday, October 11, 2021, organised a protest against the anti-LGBTQI+ bill before Parliament for consideration.
The protest saw rallies organised in Harlem, New York, and in Oakland, California over what they described as a call to scrap the ‘hate bill’.
Eight Members of Parliament jointly submitted a private bill to push for the criminalisation of LGBTQI+ activities in the country.
The bill, which they term as a ‘Bill on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values’, was presented to Speaker Alban Bagbin on June 29, 2021.
The proponents want the promotion, advocacy, funding, and acts of homosɛxuality to be criminalised in the country.
With the campaign trending with social media hashtags #QueerGhanaianLivesMatter, #KillTheBillGhana, and #Ghanagetsbetter the protesters called on Ghanaians home and abroad to join the call for rejection.
Wielding placards with diverse inscriptions to promote their campaign, the protesters chanted LGBTQ we demand equality in Ghana, Ghana’s hate bill has to go, Freedom and Justice is a lie among others.
They argued the bill, if passed, would ultimately torture and endanger the lives and health of LGBTQI+ Ghanaians.
“It would impede HIV and other health services for LGBTQI+ people. The bill would also require suspected LGBTQI+ people to recant their s.ɛ.xual and gender identities and pay for conversion therapy to avoid prison time,” the protesters said.
They added the law would push Ghana’s LGBTQI+ community further into the shadows and increase incidents of violence, hence their call for rejection.
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Monday’s protest is the latest in series of international protests organised by Ghanaians and allies abroad calling on the country’s parliament to drop the bill or urge President Nana Akufo-Addo not to assent it if it passes.
Meanwhile, the Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament has so far received over 124 memoranda from the public over the bill.