Cape Town Pride has written to the South African government urging it to speak out against the proposed new law in Ghana that would completely outlaw the LGBTIQ+ community and its allies.
In a letter to Naledi Pandor, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Cape Town Pride said it had been contacted by concerned members of the community about the “heinous” Promotion Of Proper Human Sexual Rights And Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021.
The organisation that hosts the annual event, OUTReach Africa, called on the minister to release a public statement condemning the bill, as per the constitution and values of South Africa.
Pandor was also urged to denounce the bill at the UN level and to appeal to other SADC countries to do the same.
“We, in South Africa, have been afforded the rights and privileges that very few experience in Africa and, as such, we need to stand up and represent our core values as a country,” said Cape Town Pride Festival Director, Matthew Van As.
“If we stay quiet, we condone this behaviour and promote the blatant abuse of basic human rights and the freedom to exist, love and live.”
He added: “We have fought so hard for our rights in South Africa and if we turn a blind eye to what is happening on the rest of the African continent we spit in the faces of those who have given their lives for what we have today.”
The Ghanian bill is one of the most detailed and sweeping attempts in the world to criminalise and oppress all sexual or gender minorities and any consensual relationship that is not heterosexual or monogamous.
It applies to anyone who is lesbian; gay; bisexual; transgender; transsexual; asexual; queer; an ally; pansexual; questioning; intersex; or non-binary and equates them to paedophilia and bestiality.
It proposes jailing LGBTIQ+ people who engage in any form of sex for up five years. The bill makes it illegal to fund or form an LGBTIQ+ organisation or advocate for LGBTIQ+ rights in any way, even on social media, with up to ten years in prison.
The bill outlaws gay adoption and same-sex marriage, as well as banning any transgender person from getting married. In another noxious clause, it states that LGBTIQ+ people or activities must be reported to the police within seven days.
Last month, Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, asserted that the “Parliament of Ghana will pass this bill” and warned that the struggle for LGBTIQ+ equality is an evil “pandemic” that’s worse than Covid-19.
Same-sex sex acts are already illegal under the country’s colonial-era Criminal Offences Act, falling under the broad term of “unnatural carnal knowledge”.