A graphic consisting of the red, yellow and green flag of Ghana;  People protesting against an anti-LGBTQ+ bill proposed by Ghanaian lawmakers;  and a Ghanaian queer activist holds up a sign that reads “We want to be seen.”

Queer activist Prince Frimpong fears a proposed law passed by Ghana’s parliament will lead to “witch hunts” targeting LGBTQ+ people and allies in the West African country.

Ghanaian lawmakers passed a draconian bill last month that would see queer people punished with up to three years in prison for simply identifying as part of the community. Additionally, it would criminalize the “intentional promotion” of “LGBTQ+ activities” and any failure to report an LGBTQ+ person to authorities.

Demonstrators gathered in front of the country’s high commission London And elsewhere On March 6, Ghana’s Independence Day, people around the world urged President Nana Akufo-Addo not to sign the bill.

Although the bill has not yet come into force, Prince Frimpong, an activist with the Youth Initiative Foundation, told PinkNews that there has already been a direct impact.

The day after Parliament’s decision, Frimpong claimed one of his friends was stopped by boys in his neighborhood who “abused and attacked him”, with the activist noting that “nothing like this” had happened before.

Prince Frimpong, an LGBTQ+ activist in Ghana, looks into the camera and holds several signs
Activist Prince Frimpong believes the new law will “enslave” queer people in Ghana. (Prince Frimpong)

“This kind of abuse is like a witch hunt. In our culture we call it that because we get hunted and someone just points at it and says, “Witch.” Then they will examine the person closely [on] Hearsay,” Frimpong claims.

“This is exactly what is happening in Ghana. You could just be walking around and someone will just call you “gay, gay, gay” and all of a sudden you get hit.

“That is the direct impact of what the bill is intended to do. The bill ushers in an era of slavery where we don’t choose who we are, we choose who we are.”

Frimpong believes the bill will “enslave” queer people and “be used to steal our constitutional rights” by “erasing and erasing our identities.”

Ghana’s anti-LGBTQ+ bill is in jeopardy due to court rulings

President Akufo-Addo has announced this Wait for a Supreme Court ruling Before taking action, consider the constitutionality of the proposed law.

He acknowledged that it had “raised significant fears” that Ghana “might turn its back on its previously enviable, long-standing record of respect for human rights and adherence to the rule of law.”

Dozens of LGBTQ+ people and allies gathered outside the Ghana High Commission in London to protest against an anti-LGBTQ+ bill passed by the African country's parliament
LGBTQ+ people and allies gathered outside the Ghana High Commission in London to protest against the anti-LGBTQ+ bill. (Getty)

Ghanaian religious leadersLocal LGBTQ+ groups, international human rights groups and the UN have condemned the bill, and even Ghana’s Ministry of Finance urged the president not to enact it.

Frimpong says his heart is “so heavy” as anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment rises in the West African country. He believes the legislation was “literally for the politicians” because its benefits to Ghanaian society “have not yet been discovered”.

Queer Ghanaians already face discrimination, stigma and violence

Ghana’s current anti-LGBTQ+ law, which dates back to the British colonial era and criminalizes “unnatural carnal acts,” imposes a maximum prison sentence of three years for same-sex sexual activity.

The recent push for harsher punishments has shown this Queer activists arrestedPeople who are exposed to violence and threats and Resources for the LGBTQ+ community have been discontinued.

Frimpong says it was “really hard to get to know” or “discover” his queer identity growing up in such an environment. When he was 17, his mother once called the police to “punish” him for being part of the LGBTQ+ community.

“One morning I was just there and the police came to the house, took me to the police station and asked me a lot of questions: who I was having an “affair” with.

“Me too [suffered] several attacks by the police and my mother… I remember signing a document or a contract. Since I wasn’t yet 18, they couldn’t charge me with “unnatural carnal sexuality” or because I was a minor.

“What they could do is make me sign a document of good behavior and I would tell them I won’t be gay again or anything like that…”

“It weighed on me, it still haunts me. I’m just lucky I don’t live with my parents anymore because this bill would do more harm than good.”

LGBTQ+ activist Prince Frimpong holds a sign reading
Prince Frimpong believes queer Ghanaians will stop going to the hospital because they don’t feel safe. (Prince Frimpong)

Frimpong believes existing issues surrounding queer people’s lack of access to housing and employment would be exacerbated by the legislation. He also fears that queer people will no longer go to hospitals because they don’t feel safe “with the person taking care of them.”

He continues: “The impact is huge.” Words cannot describe the impact this will have on the entire LGBT community and the entire Ghanaian community. I fear Ghana would not recover if the law comes into force. Trust me, future generations: we can never recover from this act.”

Frimpong urges people to help LGBTQ+ Ghanaians continue to fight by sending aid, lobbying the United Nations, protesting to ensure “many voices” are “at the table,” or lobbying politicians for the Hold support of the bill accountable.

“You may think your actions aren’t enough, but it is enough,” he says. “Just one action could make a difference, because creating or influencing change is a stepping stone. It’s step by step.”

With partners in Ghana, including Frimpong, global advocacy group All Out started a campaign calls for the bill to be rejected. So far, more than 77,000 people have signed it.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *