Ghana's Supreme Court
Ghana's Supreme Court

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has served notice that it will be joining any group that heads to the Supreme Court or even lead the charge if President Akufo-Addo gives his assent to the anti-LGBTQ+ bill passed by Parliament.

The bill imposes a prison sentence of up to three years for anyone convicted of identifying as LGBTQ+. It also imposes a maximum five-year jail term for forming or funding LGBTQ+ groups.

MPs frustrated attempts to replace prison sentences with community service and counselling.

Concerns about possible human rights violations have been raised by civil society groups and the international community with the United States warning there may be serious implication for Ghana’s economic development.

In a press release, Matthew Miller, spokesperson of the State Department explained that the framework would threaten all Ghanaians’ constitutionally protected freedoms of speech, press, and assembly.

“The bill would also undermine Ghana’s valuable public health, media and civic spaces, and economy.  International business coalitions have already stated that such discrimination in Ghana would harm business and economic growth in the country,”the statement added.

However, in line with its constitutional mandate, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice says the president must not assent to the bill to become law.

Commissioner of CHRAJ, Joseph Whittal told Blessed Sogah on Top Story on JoyFM on February 29 that his outfit would support or lead any move to the Supreme Court if the bill is approved.

“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 are currently awaiting the position of President Akufo-Addo as he is expected to assent to the bill or explain to parliament why he is unable to let the bill pass.