1

Notice: Undefined index: et_header_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1216

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1216

Notice: Undefined index: et_header_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1217

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1217

Notice: Undefined index: et_template in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1218

GHANA: Archbishop of Canterbury speaks against draft anti-gay bill

GHANA: Archbishop of Canterbury speaks against draft anti-gay Bill 

Ghana Web (27.10.2021) – https://bit.ly/3BrADgn – The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd. Justin Welby, has reminded members of the Anglican Church of the position they hold when it comes to the issue of same sex marriage.

He said in a statement on Tuesday October 26 ahead of the debate on the anti-gay bill which is currently before Ghana’s Parliament that : “I am gravely concerned by the draft anti-LGBTQ+ Bill due to be debated by the Ghanaian parliament. I will be speaking with the Archbishop of Ghana in the coming days to discuss the Anglican Church of Ghana’s response to the Bill.

“The majority of Anglicans within the global Anglican Communion are committed to upholding both the traditional teaching on marriage as laid out in the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution I:10, and the rights of every person, regardless of sexual orientation, before the law. In Resolution I:10, the Anglican Communion also made a commitment “to assure [LGBTQ+ people] that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.”

“Meanwhile on numerous occasions the Primates of the Anglican Communion have stated their opposition to the criminalisation of same-sex attracted people: most recently, and unanimously, in the communiqué of the 2016 Primates’ Meeting.

“I remind our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church of Ghana of these commitments.

“We are a global family of churches, but the mission of the church is the same in every culture and country: to demonstrate, through its actions and words, God’s offer of unconditional love to every human being through Jesus Christ.”

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, has explained the steps that the anti-gay bill will go through before its passage.

The Suame lawmaker told TV3’s Dzifa Bampoh in interview on Tuesday October 26, the day Parliament resumed sitting that, “Let me be emphatic, it will not be done today, the reason is simple you want to let people follow processes and procedures of enacting legislation.

“Why because, it has just been referred to the Committee.

“That is the first reading, the committee then will go to sit on it and allow civil society organizations, allow religious groups who have so much interest, allow other groups, allow the general public who have interest to express the interest appropriately usually in a memoranda but there are some of them who will not encapsulate into any memorandum and then submit same to the committee, they will want to appear in person before the committee.”

The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill was laid in the House on Monday, August 2 and read for the first time.

Reading for the first time, a clerk in the legislative assembly stated that the Bill proscribes lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) and other related activities and propaganda or advocacy and promotion for same.

It also came to light that it supports protection for children and persons who are victims or accused of homosexuality.

Second Deputy Speaker Andrew Asiamah Amoako referred the Bill to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee for consideration.

“For the first time, it is referred to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for consideration and report,” Mr Asiamah Amoako, who is also the MP for Fomena, directed.

The controversial bill has already divided opinion in the Ghanaian public discourse.

While some, particularly the religious and traditional groupings, have supported the Bill and hopeful of its passing, others say it could incur the wrath of the international community against Ghana.

 

Photo credits: Ghana Web

 





Notice: Undefined index: et_header_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1216

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1216

Notice: Undefined index: et_header_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1217

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1217

Notice: Undefined index: et_template in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1218

GHANA’s anti-gay bill condemned as ‘state-sponsored’ violence

GHANA’s anti-gay bill condemned as ‘state-sponsored’ violence

United Nations experts said the bill, which makes it a crime to be LGBT+, could ‘create a recipe for conflict and violence’

 

By Nita Bhalla

 

Openly News (12.08.2021) – https://bit.ly/2Y3ymtJ – A Ghanaian bill criminalising LGBT+ people will establish “a system of state-sponsored discrimination and violence” against sexual minorities, U.N. human rights experts warned on Thursday, urging authorities to reject the proposed law.

 

The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021, was introduced in parliament on Aug. 2 and is expected to go before lawmakers for debate in October.

 

In a letter to Ghana’s mission to the U.N. in Geneva, the experts – who include the U.N.’s independent expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz – said the bill violated Ghana’s international human rights agreements.

 

“We express our grave concern about the draft bill, which seems to establish a system of state-sponsored discrimination and violence against LGBTI persons of great magnitude,” said the letter dated Aug. 9 and publicly released on Thursday.

 

“Given that LGBTI people are present in every family and every community, it is not very difficult to imagine how, if it were to be adopted, this legislation could create a recipe for conflict and violence.”

 

Ghanaian government officials were not immediately available for comment.

 

Gay sex is already punishable with up to three years in jail in Ghana, where homophobic persecution is widespread. The bill would also impose a penalty of up to five years imprisonment for being LGBT+ and of 10 years for advocating for their rights.

 

Online platforms or media companies publishing information deemed to support LGBT+ people or challenge traditional binary male and female gender identities could also be prosecuted.

 

The draft law promotes so-called conversion therapy by allowing flexible sentencing for an LGBT+ person if they request “treatment” to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, which the U.N. experts said “may amount to torture”.

 

Some political analysts say there is enough cross-party support in the largely conservative Christian West African nation for the bill to become law.

 

However, the bill could face pressure from international donors and legal challenges, as the U.N. experts said it violated international conventions to which Ghana is party, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

Danny Bediako of the human rights organisation Rightify Ghana said he hoped the U.N. statement would encourage lawmakers to vote against the bill.

 

“Just as some Ghanaians who have spoken against the hate bill, the international community is concerned about Ghana’s democratic credentials being wiped out by this anti-LGBTQ bill,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

 

“Within parliament, I don’t think it would make much difference amongst MPs who support the bill. However, it could encourage other MPs to speak against it.”

 

(Reporting by Nita Bhalla @nitabhalla, Editing by Katie Nyugen and Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

 

Photo credits: REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko





Notice: Undefined index: et_header_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1216

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1216

Notice: Undefined index: et_header_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1217

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1217

Notice: Undefined index: et_template in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1218

GHANA: Anti-gay bill seeks prison terms for LGBT+ people

GHANA: Anti-gay bill seeks prison terms for LGBT+ people

A new draft law in the West African nation proposes jail time for those who identify as LGBT+, and for anyone who offers assistance to the LGBT+ community.

 

By Nita Bhalla

 

Openly News (02.08.2021) – https://bit.ly/3fFZipl – A bill in Ghana that would make it a crime to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender or to advocate for LGBT+ rights is expected to be presented before parliament on Monday for its first reading.

 

The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021, has sparked outrage and fear in the West African nation’s LGBT+ community, with campaigners saying it could heighten widespread persecution and violence.

 

Here are some key details and background about the controversial proposal:

 

 

What is the current law regarding LGBT+ people in Ghana?

 

Under a 1960 British colonial-era law, “unnatural carnal knowledge” – widely interpreted as sexual intercourse between men – is punishable with up to three years in jail.

 

Ghana has not prosecuted anyone for gay sex in years, but LGBT+ people face frequent abuse and discrimination, including blackmail and attacks, human rights researchers say.

 

It is not a crime to be LGBT+ or to promote LGBT+ rights under current legislation.

 

 

Why was the bill introduced now?

 

The bill is sponsored by eight lawmakers from the opposition and ruling parties who came together following the opening of the country’s first LGBT+ community centre in January.

 

The opening of the centre sparked uproar from church organisations, politicians and anti-gay groups, and authorities shut it down three weeks later.

 

This has led to a crackdown by authorities – including the arrest of 21 LGBT+ activists in May – and an increase in homophobic abuse from the public in recent months, community members say.

 

The lawmakers, who are led by Samuel Nartey George from the National Democratic Congress party, say homosexuality is a perversion and LGBT+ activities threaten Ghanaian family values, and society in general.

 

 

What are the main provisions in the bill?

 

The draft law makes it a crime punishable by up to five years imprisonment to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, pansexual and non-binary – someone who does not identify as male or female.

 

Advocating for the LGBT+ community, sympathising or offering any assistance such as financial or medical support to LGBT+ people or organisations would also be an offence punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

 

Media companies, online platforms and accounts that publish information deemed to support LGBT+ activities or encourage children to explore any gender or sex outside of the binary categories of male and female could also be prosecuted.

 

On the other hand, the draft law promotes so-called conversion therapy by allowing flexible sentencing for an LGBT+ person if they request “treatment”.

 

Other articles include outlawing “intentional cross-dressing” and “amorous relations” between people of the same sex in public, and making it a citizen’s duty to report any LGBT+ persons or activities to authorities.

 

It also proposes amending Ghana’s existing extradition law to allow for the deportation of LGBT+ Ghanaians living overseas.

 

 

How have people responded to the bill?

 

LGBT+ rights groups in Ghana have expressed shock and alarm over the provisions of the draft law, saying that it would strip gay, bisexual and transgender people of all their rights – and increase homophobic persecution and violence.

 

LBGT+ people report being scared and have already begun to restrict their movements and avoid public places such as markets where they may be targeted, say community organisations.

 

Campaigners have launched a campaign on social media called #KillTheBill to raise awareness and also an online petition to stop the draft law, which has garnered nearly 4,000 signatures since it was launched on Sunday.

 

Religious groups such as the Coalition of Muslim Groups in Ghana have welcomed the bill, saying it is necessary to prevent the dilution of cultural values and beliefs in Ghanaian society. 

 

Last week, traditional leaders from Ghana’s Waala community – to which about 100,000 people belong – announced a ban on LGBT+ activities, saying they did not want to wait for the bill to be passed. 

 

 

What are the chances the bill could be passed?

 

Some political analysts say there is enough cross-party support in the largely conservative Christian nation for the bill to become law.

 

However, the bill could face major hurdles, including pressure from international donors and foreign partners as well as legal challenges over whether it violates Ghana’s constitution.

 

In May, the United States and the World Bank called on Ghana to respect LGBT+ rights and said they were closely watching the situation in the country.

 

 

What are the next steps?

 

After the first reading, the bill will be referred to a committee for review before it is presented before parliament for a second reading and debate where it may be subject to amendments.

 

It then goes for a third reading before it can be passed into law. It will also require assent from President Nana Akufo-Addo.

 

Photo credits: REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko





Notice: Undefined index: et_header_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1216

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1216

Notice: Undefined index: et_header_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1217

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1217

Notice: Undefined index: et_template in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1218

With blackmail list, gay men in Ghana fight conmen posing as lovers

Ghana Gay Blackmail List receives three or four reports of robbery and blackmail each week.

 

By Kwasi Gyamfi Asiedu

 

Thomson Reuters Foundation (09.06.2020) – https://bit.ly/2YDIl5E – As Benson walked across the street towards his date in Ghana’s capital, Accra, he saw something was wrong – it was not the man he had been messaging on the popular gay dating app Grindr.

 

Sensing danger, Benson tried to get away but two other men grabbed him from behind, started beating him and ordered him to hand over his bag and mobile phone. When they threatened him with a knife, he also gave them the passcode to his phone.

 

“I gave them everything because life is more important,” the 27-year-old, who declined to give his full name, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

 

“After beating me up and pushing me in the gutter, they left … I went home with a broken jaw.”

 

Benson’s ordeal is increasingly common in countries where homosexuality is illegal. While the internet has made it easier for LGBT+ communities to find and build relationships online, it has also exposed them to new risks.

 

In Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria, gay men are often blackmailed and outed by fake dates who trick them into sharing intimate photos which they post online. The police also use social media to lure them to false meetings and make arrests.

 

Ghana is one of more than 30 African countries that outlaw same-sex relations, according to the LGBT+ rights group ILGA.

 

While prosecutions are rare, homophobia is widespread and those who are outed often have their lives upended as they are ostracised by friends and family and can lose their jobs.

 

Alex Kofi Donkor, head of local activist group LGBT+ Rights Ghana, decided to fight back last year on Twitter and Facebook with the Ghana Gay Blackmail List, which exposes “notorious persons who steal, abuse & blackmail gay men”.

 

The group, which has 1,800 followers, has named and shamed about two dozen men by publishing their photos along with the apps they use, the places they frequent and a warning: “Share widely, be alert and don’t be the next victim”.

 

“We are in a country where our lives are clearly in danger as a result of people’s hatred and their disgust towards the community,” Donkor said.

 

“A lot of times, we are unable to achieve justice for the crimes that have been committed so the best we can also do is to protect ourselves.”

 

Blackmail

 

A link on the Ghana Gay Blackmail List page allows members of the public to report cases, which are investigated within closed gay and bisexual social media groups for additional crowdsourced testimonies before publication, Donkor said.

 

“Once we have posted, there are retweets and so a lot of people are warned as a result and if they are chatting with them, they (stop talking to) them,” said Donkor, who gets three or four reports of robbery, blackmail and abuse each week.

 

Nana Kwame, a bisexual man, was robbed and threatened with blackmail after meeting up with a man he’d been messaging on Grindr in a house in Accra.

 

His date went to use the bathroom and returned with two other men who asked Nana Kwame what he was doing there.

 

“Before I could answer, I was hit in the face,” said the 24-year-old who declined to give his full name.

 

One man rushed to lock the door of the room and then they forced Nana Kwame to unlock his phone and erased all of its contents.

 

“One of the guys brought the Bible and made me swear that if I leave the place I will change,” Nana Kwame said. “I was outnumbered, it was three against one, so I had to submit.”

 

One of the men said he knew Nana Kwame’s brother and threatened to out him to his family unless he phoned someone to send 500 cedi ($88) to his mobile wallet.

 

Nana Kwame stayed silent. They gave up and let him go.

 

Homophobia

 

As men who have sex with men can face up to three years in jail in Ghana, they are usually too scared to report these robberies to the police as this could lead to them being outed, which carries a far greater personal cost, said Donkor.

 

“One of the quick actions families take is to sack the person from the home. Once you are outed, that also means that your source of livelihood is also threatened,” he said.

 

Donkor encourages gay men who have been robbed and blackmailed to report the incidents to the police, telling them “meeting a new friend is not a crime”. But only about 30% are willing to take that first step, he said.

 

Benson and Nana Kwame said they reported their cases to the police but no arrests were made.

 

“There is a level of impunity when it comes to the abuse of LGBT+ persons,” said Donkor.

 

“You sense that kind of laid back attitude from the police … there is a certain level of homophobia.”

 

Ghana Police Service said that any cases of police misconduct should be reported to more senior officers.

 

“Persons who have cases to report to the police should not be worried about their sexual orientation,” a spokeswoman said.

 

“All complainants are treated equally.”

 

Unable to rely on the police to keep them safe, LGBT+ communities in many countries are searching for their own solutions.

 

LGBT+ Nigerians also have a blackmail list, called #KitoAlert, although the system’s administrator has complained online that it is ineffective because people do not use it before meeting strangers.

 

Grindr, which is used by more than 4 million people a day globally, has introduced numerous safety measures to protect users, including unsending messages, blocking screenshots and disguising the app’s icon on their phones.

 

Donkor believes more can be done. He would like gay dating apps to provide legal support to men who fall victim to criminals when using their apps.

 

“There should be a mechanism in place to support local organisations to challenge some of the abuses that happen as a result of using the app,” he said.

 

“It will serve as a warning to others who (plan) to use the app to abuse and blackmail users.”

 

Benson has found a foolproof solution – he no longer uses dating apps.

 

“There are a lot of fraudsters on Grindr,” he said. “Anything can just happen to you.”


Notice: Undefined index: et_footer_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1261

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1261

Notice: Undefined index: et_footer_layout in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1262

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1262

Notice: Undefined index: et_template in /home/hrwfe90/domains/hrwf.eu/public_html/wp-content/plugins/pdf-print/pdf-print.php on line 1263