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ADDED ON: 11/12/2021

Supporters and opponents face off over Ghana’s anti-LGBT law

11/11/2021 | Reuters

ACCRA, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Supporters and opponents of Ghana’s new anti-LGBT bill faced off in parliament on Wednesday in the first public hearings into the proposed legislation that would make it a crime to be gay, bisexual or transgender. Akoto Ampaw, a lawyer representing a coalition against the law, was met with occasional jeers as he told the session the Family Values bill would be “totalitarian” and “unconstitutional”. On the other side of the argument, Abraham Ofori-Kuragu, a representative of Ghana’s Pentecostal council, told the tense gathering of lawmakers and media the bill reflected the will of most Ghanaians. There have been no national opinion polls on the bill, which has been condemned by U.N. rights experts. But supporters say the legislation has broad backing in the largely Christian West African country. Gay sex is already punishable by up to three years in prison in Ghana, though no one has been prosecuted in years. The new bill would go further, lengthening jail terms and forcing some to undergo “conversion therapy” – practices intended to change a person’s sexual orientation.

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