What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Ghana?

New anti-LGBTQ laws make this a very dangerous place for queer people.

What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Ghana?

The recent enactment of new anti-LGBTQ laws in Ghana is a significant deterioration in conditions for queer people in this part of the world.

Let’s take a look at some of the key equality indicators.

Gay sex has been illegal in Ghana since the 1860s. The penalty is imprisonment for up to three years.

There is now also a prison term for anyone who is simply identified as being LGBTQ.

The recently enacted anti-LGBTQ legislation also imposes a maximum five-year jail term for forming or funding LGBTQ groups, a jail term of up to 10 years for anyone involved in LGBTQ advocacy campaigns aimed at children, and encourages the public to report members of the LGBTQ community to authorities for "necessary action".

Are there anti-discrimination protections in place for LGBTQ people in Ghana?

There’s no anti-discrimination framework in place to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination based on their sexuality.

Discrimination and persecution is systemic.

Is there Marriage Equality in Ghana?

There’s no legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Ghana?

Most of the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in Ghana comes from Christian groups who say homosexuality is a sin. There is also a belief that the promotion of homosexuality is part of a Western agenda to spread European and US values in Africa.

LGBTQ people in Ghana face frequent abuse and discrimination, including blackmail, extortion, and violent attacks.

What’s the history of homosexuality in Ghana?

In the 18th and 19th century Asante courts, male slaves served as concubines.

The Nzema people had a tradition of adult men marrying each other, usually with a 10-year age difference. These marriage were called agyale – friendship marriages. The couple would observe all the social equivalents of a heterosexual marriage, a bride price was paid and a traditional wedding ceremony was held.

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