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Ghana’s President Must Veto Anti-Gay Bill, Says British Billionaire Richard Branson

Writing on his blog on Monday, Branson joined calls by rights groups that the bill portends devasting consequences for human rights.

British business magnate Richard Branson says Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo must not sign the anti-LGBTQ bill passed by Parliament last month.

Writing on his blog on Monday, Branson joined calls by rights groups that the bill portends devasting consequences for human rights, while also referring to the March 4 letter of the Finance Ministry on economic consequences.

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“Criminalising a person’s identity legitimises discrimination and corrodes dignity. Families, businesses, societies, and countries prosper when people have the freedom to be themselves, he wrote, adding “I join many other human rights advocates in Africa and around the world in calling on the President to veto this draconian and hateful piece of legislation.”

Ghana’s controversial anti-gay bill seems to have caused a stir recently between Ghana’s executive arm and Parliament. Last week, when the President’s Executive Secretary, Nana Asante Bediatuo, wrote to Parliament asking it to “cease and desist” from submitting the bill for signing until legal challenges are resolved, Minority MPs and particularly the Speaker of Parliament didn’t take it too well.

In what could be viewed as a retaliatory move, the Speaker announced on Wednesday that the House would not approve new ministers until the Supreme Court concludes the lawsuits, while also adjourning Parliament indefinitely.


Read Also: Parliament Under My Leadership Will Resist Any Affront to Ghana’s Democracy – Speaker Bagbin

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Since the Bill was passed, President Akufo-Addo has been facing pressure from conservative groups and sponsors of the legislation to sign it into law.

Additionally, with an IMF programme underway, the president seems caught between a rock and a hard place. But it appears the situation also presents a real test to Nana Akufo-Addo, who before becoming President had steered his work as a lawyer, on the promotion of civil and human rights.

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