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HomeNewsAnti-gay bill passage will hurt Ghana’s economy – US Ambassador

Anti-gay bill passage will hurt Ghana’s economy – US Ambassador

The Ambassador of the United States to Ghana, Virginia Evelyn Palmer, has expressed her discontent with the recent passage of the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill by the Ghanaian Parliament on Wednesday, February 28, 2024.

The bill, commonly known as the anti-gay bill, criminalizes and proscribes LGBT activities, drawing criticism from various quarters, including key figures like Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the Board Chair of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana).

In a Facebook post on Thursday, February 29, 2024, Ambassador Palmer conveyed her sadness regarding the bill’s approval.

She highlighted concerns about its potential harm to the nation’s economy, reputation, and public health and order. The bill stipulates penalties, including a 6-month to 3-year jail term for individuals engaged in LGBT activities and a 3 to 5-year jail term for promoters and sponsors of such activities.

Expressing her dismay, Ambassador Palmer emphasized that the bill not only infringes on the basic human rights of the LGBT community but also undermines the constitutional rights of all Ghanaians, including freedom of speech, assembly, and the press.

The U.S. Ambassador raised concerns about the adverse effects of the bill on public order and health. She argued that its enactment could have negative consequences for Ghana’s international standing and economic well-being.

“I am saddened because some of the smartest, most creative, most decent people I know are LGBT. The bill Parliament passed takes away not only their basic human rights but those of all Ghanaians because it undermines their constitutional rights to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press.

“It will be bad for public order and public health. If enacted, it will also hurt Ghana’s international reputation and Ghana’s economy.”

She added, “Lots of ethnic communities make Ghana strong, stable, and attractive for investments. I hope it stays that way with regard to the LGBTQ community. They should be managed to be made the colour of the money green or red if it’s Ghanaian, but if there is discrimination, then that will send a signal not to [only] LGBTQ investors and exporters but to other American companies that Ghana is less welcoming than I am telling people that it is now.”