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Don’t Assent To Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill – Finance Ministry Tells Akufo-Addo2 min read

Don’t Assent To Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill – Finance Ministry Tells Akufo-Addo<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">2</span> min read</span>
The Ministry of Finance has urged President Akufo-Addo to refrain from signing the recently passed Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill into law.

In a press release issued on Monday, March 4, the Finance Ministry cautioned that such action could lead to severe repercussions on the country’s financial support from international organisations like the Bretton Woods Institutions.

The statement highlighted concerns that the expected US$300 million financing from the First Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation (Budget Support), currently awaiting Parliamentary approval, might not be disbursed if the bill is signed into law.

Additionally, ongoing negotiations on the Second Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation (Budget Support), amounting to US$300 million, could be suspended.

The Ministry emphasised that these potential outcomes could result in a significant loss of financial resources, leading to a financing gap in the 2024 budget.

To address these challenges, the Ministry called upon the President to engage with religious bodies to discuss the implications of signing the bill and to establish a robust coalition and framework for supporting key development initiatives.

“The Presidency may have a structured engagement with local conservative forces such as religious bodies and faith-based organisations to communicate the economic implications of the passage of the ‘Anti-LGBTQ’ Bill and to build a stronger coalition and a framework for supporting key development initiative that is likely to be affected.”

It also added that “the President may have to defer assenting to the Bill until the court rules on the legal issues tabled by key national stakeholders (CSOs and CHRAJ).”

On February 28, 2024, Parliament approved a bill criminalizing LGBTQ activities and prohibiting their promotion, advocacy, and funding.

Under the legislation, individuals convicted of such acts could be sentenced to 6 months to 3 years in prison, while those promoting or sponsoring such activities could face 3 to 5 years behind bars.

The bill’s passage has sparked criticism from various stakeholders, including Virginia Evelyn Palmer, the Ambassador of the United States to Ghana.