July 23, 2024

The government of the United States of America (USA) has threatened that there will be serious consequences if President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assents the Promotion of Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill (anti-gay bill) into law.

Speaking in a video from a press conference that was shared by GraphicOnline on X, on March 1, 2024, the spokesperson of the United States State Department, Matthew Miller, indicated that the US administration is in discussions with the government of Ghana on the bill to ensure that it is not passed into law.

Matthew Miller, who made these remarks while answering a question on the bill, which was recently passed by Ghana’s parliament, indicated that the West African country may suffer sanctions similar to that of Uganda, which also passed an anti-gay law in 2023.

The journalist asked: “Could I take you to Africa… Ghana I know there’s a statement that you issued last night on the anti- LGBTQ bill, just to follow up on that. My understanding is that the President, Akufo-Addo, hasn’t signed it yet. Are there talks with Ghana trying to stop this from becoming law? And if it comes to fruition, is there a sense of what the repercussions, if any, could be in the US?”

The State Department spokesperson replied: “So, we have made very clear what our opinion is on that law if you look at my statement yesterday, and we have made that clear in private conversations with the government of Ghana as well.

“I don’t think I should get any more specific than that. But if this bill becomes law, it would certainly have a chilling effect on foreign investment and tourism in Ghana.”

He added, “You’ve seen that same chilling effect bear fruit in Uganda, which passed a very similar law in the past. And I can say that should the bill pass, it would potentially have ramifications on US assistance in the country.”

The US government supports Ghana with aid in various areas, including agriculture, malaria prevention, HIV/AIDS control and prevention, as well as military assistance.

In 2022, reports indicated that US assistance to Ghana amounted to $211 million.

In an earlier post shared on X on February 28, 2024, Matthew Miller said that Ghana’s anti-bill violates the rights of the people of Ghana.

He also said that the bill also violates Ghana’s international reputation and its economic agreements.

“The Ghanaian parliament’s passage of a bill criminalizing members of the LGBTQI+ community imperils the rights of all its people, its international reputation, and its economic development.

“Ghana’s laudable tradition of tolerance will be undermined if this bill becomes law,” he wrote.

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