• The bill will also protect victims and accused persons from been harassed or abused
• Persons who identify as LGBTQ+ will be provided with psychological support per provisions in the bill
The anti-LGBTQI+ Bill which has been put before parliament for consideration has made provisions for the support of persons who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and (LGBTTQ+),
Portions of the Bill dubbed, “The promotion of Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Value” has components of social support systems which its propagators indicate will help persons within the LGBTQ+ community understand their sexuality.
This, per the bill, includes psychological support.
“As sponsors of the Bill, we also recognize that groups of vulnerable persons in the LGBTTQQIAAP+ discussion ought to receive support to address underlying biological, social and economic issues that make them prone to the rapacious activities of persons involved in LGBTTQQIAAP+ activities. Social support systems must be established to help the vulnerable persons understand their sexuality and to access psychological or physiological support where necessary.” The bill stated.
Sponsors of the anti-LGBTQ Bill also indicate that members of the community will not be harassed or abused for their sexual activities under the Bill before parliament.
Among the provisions made for victims;
(1) A person who is a victim of a sexual activity prohibited under this Act shall not be penalised for the involvement of the person in the sexual activity.
(2) The Court may order a person convicted of an offence under this Act to, in addition to the sentence imposed, pay compensation to the victim of the offence for any physical or psychological harm caused to the victim.
(3) The Court, in determining the amount of compensation to be paid by the convicted person, shall take into consideration
(a) the extent of harm suffered by the victim;
(b) the degree of force used on the victim; and
(c) medical and other expenses incurred by the victim as a result of the offence.
(4) At any stage of investigation or trial of an offence under this Act, the law enforcement officer, prosecutor, judicial officer, medical practitioner or any other person involved in the investigation or trial shall respect the right to privacy of the accused or complainant.
(5) Where the complaint relates to a child, proceedings shall be held in camera.
(6) The Court may, in addition to an order made under this Act, order the victim of an offence under this Act to undergo therapy provided by an approved service provider where the Court determines that the victim is traumatised by the sexual activity. The bill specifies.
There have been a lot of reactions from some citizens with regards to the LGBTQ+ bill before parliament that seeks to criminalise the LGBTQ+ acts.
However, a group of 18 renowned lawyers and professionals have sent a memorandum to parliament for the bill to be withdrawn as they claim it violates the fundamental human rights guaranteed in the constitution.
These opposing views have generated a lot of discussion on both local and international platforms.