Some members of Ghana's Parliament are seeking to make it illegal to promote LGBTQ+ rights in the country according to a new report.
Samuel Nartey George and seven other MPs from the National Democratic Congress have introduced a new bill that would ban LGBTQ+ advocacy and they hope to pass it before the parliamentary session ends at the end of this month.
"We have taken a stance and announced our intention to present a Private Members Bill to expressly criminalise and ban the advocacy and act of homosexuality in all its current and future forms," George wrote on Facebook. "The proposed Bill would strengthen and augment existing legislation on the subject. We owe it to ourselves and the people of Ghana to uphold that which gives us our identity as a people."
He added, "may we unite in this fight against the scourge and perversion that homosexuality presents. So help us GOD"
The proposed bill comes two weeks after police raided LGBT+ Rights Ghana's headquarters, shutting down their offices, which were the first of their kind in the country. The headquarters, located in Ghana's capital, had been open for three weeks and faced protests from churches, politicians, and antigay groups.
Following that raid, a group of over 65 British celebrities, including Idris Elba and Naomi Campbell, most of whom were of Ghanian heritage, wrote an open letter to "our Ghanaian LGBTQIA+ family" and calling on the the president to protect gay rights in the country. "We see you and we hear you. We ar in awe of your strength and bravery, and your audacity to be true to who you are even when it is dangerous to do so," the letter read in part.
Same-sex activity between men is criminilzed in Ghana, and many politicians are openly homophobic. While no one has been prosecuted for same-sex relations in ears, violators could face up to three years in jail.
LGBT+ Rights Ghana released an open letter on Monday asking for peace. "Mr. President, our plea is not one which seeks to institutionalise same sex civil unions. Ours at this very point is to have some peace in our country and feel safe," the letter read. "Ours is asking that the state protect us from harm and that our sexual identities do not become weaponised as a tool of oppression in violating our rights as established under the constitution."