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Nunoo-Mensah: I’m neither for nor against Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill

The Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill, passed on Wednesday (28 February), will criminalise the promotion, advocacy, funding and acts of homosexuality

Brigadier General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, a former chief of defence staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, has said he is neither for nor against the Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill passed last week by Parliament.

But Nunoo-Mensah expressed anger that after 67 years of independence Ghana is still not able to determine and control its own affairs.

Speaking on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Tuesday, Nunoo-Mensah said: “You spoke about Ghana [Parliament] passing a bill and standing the risk of losing about US$3.8 billion World Bank funds …

“I’m neither for nor against the Anti-Gay Bill. But for us to be told that because you are taking a decision that is going to affect your future you are going to be punished [doesn’t sound right]. This makes me go back and think if we will had real independence …

“So, 67 years after independence, we still cannot control our own affairs. Then did we go or did we come …”

“Delay signing”

The Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill (commonly known as the Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill) was passed by Parliament on Wednesday (28 February). It will criminalise the promotion, advocacy, funding and acts of homosexuality.

The Ministry of Finance has advised President Akufo-Addo to hold off from signing the legislation into law.

In an internal briefing on the immediate impact of the bill on the 2024 Budget issued on Monday (4 March 2024), the Finance Ministry warned that an action of this kind could cause severe repercussions for Ghana’s financial support from international organisations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured the diplomatic community in Ghana that despite the passage of the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill by Parliament, Ghana will not let slip “her enviable, long-standing record” as a country that respects the fundamental human rights of all people within her borders.

Addressing the diplomatic corps in Ghana at the annual “New Year Greeting” at Peduase Presidential Lodge in the Aburi Hills on Monday (4 March), President Akufo-Addo said he is aware of the difficulties some of Ghana’s international partners have with the bill as passed by Parliament.

He announced that a citizen has invoked the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to challenge the constitutionality of the Anti-Gay Bill. To this end, he called on everyone to cease fire until the Supreme Court pronounces judgment on the constitutionality or otherwise of the bill.

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