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Ghana: Anti-gay bill seeks prison terms for LGBT+ people

Ghana: Anti-gay bill seeks prison terms for LGBT+ people

NITA BHALLA A bill in Ghana that would make it a crime to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender or to advocate for LGBT+ rights is expected to be presented before parliament for its first reading. The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021, has sparked outrage and fear in the West African nation's LGBT+ community, with campaigners saying it could heighten widespread persecution and violence. Here are some key details and background about the controversial proposal: What is the current law regarding LGBT+ people in Ghana? Under a 1960 British colonial-era law, "unnatural carnal…
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From trans rights to the Olympics: 10 LGBT+ issues in 2021

From trans rights to the Olympics: 10 LGBT+ issues in 2021

FROM the United States to Japan, the list of countries mulling legislation that impacts LGBT+ rights in 2021 is lengthy, encompassing issues from gay sex to so-called conversion therapy to same-sex marriage. Conversion therapy will be a major theme in 2021 with potential national bans being considered in Britain, Israel and Mexico. Gay sex is still illegal in 69 U.N. member states, according to LGBT+ rights group ILGA World, but advocates hope countries such as Kenya and Singapore will follow the lead of Bhutan and Gabon last year in decriminalising same-sex relations. LGBT+ advocates also hope that U.S. president-elect Joe Biden will overturn a ban on new transgender military personnel,…
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What does the Pope’s support for gay civil unions mean for LGBT+ rights?

What does the Pope’s support for gay civil unions mean for LGBT+ rights?

OSCAR LOPEZ POPE Francis has signalled a softening towards LGBT+ rights with his comments that same-sex couples should be protected by civil union laws and have the right to form a family. In some of his clearest language on the subject since his election in 2013, the pontiff said in a documentary "Francesco" released on Wednesday that gay couples needed legal rights. "Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it," he said. The pope's views…
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Ghana president calls for tolerance as parliament considers anti-LGBT+ law

Ghana president calls for tolerance as parliament considers anti-LGBT+ law

GHANAIAN President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday emphasised the need for civil debate and tolerance as parliament works towards a vote on a controversial bill that would make it a crime to be gay, bisexual or transgender. The so-called family values bill has dismayed the local LGBT+ community and prompted U.N. human rights experts to warn it could establish a system of state-sponsored discrimination and violence. Gay sex is already punishable with up to three years in jail in Ghana, where homophobic persecution is widespread, but the draft law would criminalise being LGBT+ or advocating for LGBT+ rights, and impose longer…
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ANALYSIS-Sex education becomes battlefield in U.S. culture war over LGBT+ rights

ANALYSIS-Sex education becomes battlefield in U.S. culture war over LGBT+ rights

SYDNEY BAUER SEX education is emerging as the next battleground in a U.S. culture war over LGBT+ rights, as some conservative state legislators seek to keep discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity out of the nation's classrooms. Lawmakers in three Republican-led states backed legislation this year to let parents take children out of classes covering LGBT+ identity - a step critics said will deprive gay and transgender youth of vital information and fuel discrimination. The governors of Arizona and Arkansas later vetoed their bills, fearing legal challenges, but Tennessee's sex education law came into force in May, with conservatives…
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Anger and fear in Ghana as bill seeks to criminalise LGBT+ people

Anger and fear in Ghana as bill seeks to criminalise LGBT+ people

NITA BHALLA A bill in Ghana that would make it a crime to be gay, bisexual or transgender has shocked the local LGBT+ community and raised fears over a possible surge in discrimination and violence against sexual minorities in the West African country. Gay sex is already punishable with up to three years in jail in Ghana, where homophobic persecution is widespread, but the draft law would go much further - making it illegal to be LGBT+ or advocate for LGBT+ rights, and imposing longer sentences. "This bill is a homophobe's dream law," said Danny Bediako from Rightify Ghana, a…
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Major donors urge Ghana to respect LGBT+ rights amid crackdown

Major donors urge Ghana to respect LGBT+ rights amid crackdown

NITA BHALLA Major foreign aid donors called on Ghana on Tuesday to respect LGBT+ rights following a crackdown including arrests of people from sexual minorities and an increase in homophobic persecution. In the latest incident, police in the West African country arrested 21 people last week for promoting LGBT+ rights during a training workshop at a hotel in Ghana's southeastern city of Ho. The United States and the World Bank told the Thomson Reuters Foundation they were closely watching the situation in the country, where gay sex is punishable with up to three years in jail. "We urge national leaders in Ghana…
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U.S. Christian groups spent $280m fighting LGBT+ rights, abortion overseas

U.S. Christian groups spent $280m fighting LGBT+ rights, abortion overseas

RACHEL SAVAGE RIGHT-WING U.S. groups have put more than $280 million into campaigns against LGBT+ rights and abortion worldwide since 2007, almost $90 million of which focused on Europe, according to a report on Tuesday. Many of the 28 groups - most of which are Christian - have close links with U.S. President Donald Trump, who is campaigning for re-election on Nov. 3, investigative website openDemocracy found, amid the rising popularity of the far-right in Europe. "These findings show how Trump-linked groups have built a frightening global empire," Mary Fitzgerald, openDemocracy's editor-in-chief, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in emailed comments. One of the main…
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