In order to make it clear that the anti-gay measure presently before parliament is an initiative from a small group of MPs as a private members’ bill, President Nana Akufo-Addo has removed his administration from it.
The Ghanaian leader informed foreign journalists who inquired about the bill during a joint press conference with US Vice President Kamala Harris at the Jubilee House in Accra on Monday, 27 March 2023: “My understanding with the recent discussion I had with the chairman of the committee is that substantial elements of the bill have already been modified.”
“The statement that there is legislation to that effect is not accurate,” Mr Akufo-Addo corrected the New York Times reporter.
He then clarified: “The legislation is a legislation that is being proposed as a private members’ bill”, stressing: “This is not an official legislation of the government but it is one that is being mooted by a handful of private members”.
Parts of the anti-LGBTQI+ Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Value Bill, 2021, according to Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame, are illegal.
“Parts of the bill, in its present form, violate some fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution, including the right to freedom of expression, thought, and conscience, and freedom from discrimination,” the minister of justice wrote in a letter of opinion to the chairman of the committee on constitutional, legal, and parliamentary affairs of parliament.
“Other provisions of the bill, however, pass the test of constitutionality”, he noted.
Clause 15 – Disbandment of LGBTTQQIAAP+ group, society, union, club or organization is one of the bill’s fundamental provisions.
It states that upon the effective date of the Act, any group, society, association, club, or organization that was in existence prior to that date and whose purpose, in whole or in part, is to promote, facilitate, support, or otherwise sustain an act prohibited by the Bill is to be disbanded.