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As a founding member of The Commonwealth Equality Network, Kaleidoscope Trust strongly supports the following statement made by the Network about the recent passage of a draconian new anti-LGBTI+ law in Ghana.

The Commonwealth Equality Network (TCEN) strongly condemns the passage of the Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill by the Parliament of Ghana. This Bill, which imposes severe penalties including imprisonment for identifying as LGBTI+, forming or funding LGBTI+ groups, and advocating for LGBTI+ rights, represents a significant regression in human rights and undermines the principles of equality and dignity for all individuals. The Bill is in direct conflict with the values enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter, including its commitment to human rights, tolerance, diversity and freedom of expression.

The passage of this Bill reflects a concerning trend of growing opposition to LGBTI+ rights in Ghana, and it poses grave threats to the fundamental rights and freedoms of LGBTI+ people in the country. The criminalisation of LGBTI+ identity and activism not only fosters an environment of fear and persecution but also legitimises discrimination and violence against LGBTI+ individuals and communities.

The Commonwealth Equality Network stands in solidarity with LGBTI+ Ghanaians and our members in Ghana who now face increased risks of harassment, persecution, and violence as a result of this draconian legislation. We echo the sentiments expressed by human rights organisations and activists who have raised alarm about the potential for witch-hunts and violations of basic rights and freedoms.

“This Bill undermines the fundamental human rights of LGBTI+ Ghanaians and their allies and contradicts the shared values of the Commonwealth,” says TCEN Chair, Steve Letsike. “We urge President Akufo-Addo not to sign it and call on the Commonwealth Secretary General to condemn it. Our solidarity is with LGBTI+ Ghanaians and our members in Ghana.”

We call on President Nana Akufo-Addo to not sign this Bill into law and to uphold Ghana’s commitments to human rights, dignity, and equality for all its citizens. Furthermore, we urge the international community, including the Commonwealth Secretariat and other Commonwealth governments, to condemn this bill and exert pressure on the Ghanaian government to respect and protect the rights of LGBTI+ individuals.

It is imperative that leaders across Africa and around the world speak out against laws that perpetuate discrimination and violence against LGBTI+ people. We call for solidarity and support from allies everywhere to stand with LGBTI+ Ghanaians in their fight for justice, equality, and freedom from persecution.

The Commonwealth Equality Network reaffirms its unwavering commitment to advocating for the rights and dignity of LGBTI+ individuals across the Commonwealth. We stand in solidarity with LGBTI+ Ghanaians and our members in Ghana, and we will continue to work tirelessly to oppose all forms of discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.