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CHRAJ Hints at Legal Challenge of Anti-Gay Bill Should President Akufo-Addo Sign into Law

Parliament on Wednesday unanimously passed the controversial Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill despite many concerns raised by civil society groups and the international community over the implications of criminalising LGBTQ practices.

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has announced its intention to align with any party heading to the Supreme Court, or even spearhead the initiative, should President Akufo-Addo give his approval to the anti-LGBTQ+ bill recently passed by Parliament.

Parliament on Wednesday unanimously passed the controversial Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill despite many concerns raised by civil society groups and the international community over the implications of criminalising LGBTQ practices.

The bill, described as “extreme” by rights groups, prescribes a 3-year jail term for identifying as LGBTQ+ and a maximum of five (5) years for the willful promotion, sponsorship, or support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ (LGBTQ+) activities in the country.

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However, in adherence to its constitutional mandate, CHRAJ asserts that the president should refrain from endorsing the bill into law. Commissioner of CHRAJ, Joseph Whittal, said during an interview on JoyFM’s Top Story on February 29 that they would support or lead legal action in the Supreme Court if the bill is signed into law.

“We can’t just get up and throw them [LGBTQ persons] out and say, we don’t need them. Your culture gave birth to these people. You need to protect them as well. It’s early days, yes, but I can imagine that we will be close to joining such groups or even taking the lead,” he said.

Ghanaians await President Akufo-Addo’s decision, as he is expected to either approve the bill or provide explanations to Parliament for his inability to allow its passage.

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