Will Ghana introduce some of the harshest anti-gay laws in the world?

West Africa correspondent Emmanuel Akinwotu describes how a backlash against the opening of an LGBTQ+ safe space in Ghana has fuelled homophobic legislation

In February 2021, a community centre for LGBTQ+ people in Ghana was closed down weeks after it had opened, following a wave of protests. As our west Africa correspondent, Emmanuel Akinwotu, explains to Michael Safi, the incident marked a new and dark chapter for gay rights in the country.

Though previously homosexuality was still illegal in Ghana, the law had not been strictly policed, making the country a relatively safe space for LGBTQ+ people compared with its neighbours. Since the closure of the centre however, there has been a surge in homophobic abuse, and an organised religious movement is seeking to clamp down further on LGBTQ+ rights.

Now a drastic anti-gay bill is passing through the Ghanaian parliament. It proposes not only 5-year sentences for LGBTQ+ people but also even harsher punishments for people who support or “advocate” for gay rights.

Presented by Michael Safi with Emmanuel Akinwotu
Source – The Guardian