The US Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Palmer, has issued a warning that the approval of the Anti-LGBTQ+ law might have implications for trade and investments within the country.
Ambassador Palmer conveyed that despite several American companies gearing up for investments in Ghana, any legislation that discriminates against LGBTQ+ individuals could potentially damage the country’s image and reduce its appeal to potential investors.
Addressing reporters in Accra, Ambassador Palmer commented, “Ghana’s strength and attractiveness for investments are rooted in its diverse ethnic communities. It is my hope that this diversity remains intact, including for the LGBTQ+ community. The focus should be on financial matters, whether green or red, as long as it involves Ghana. However, if discrimination comes into play, it sends a negative message not only to LGBTQ+ investors and exporters, but also to other American corporations. This could diminish Ghana’s appeal… so my hope is that Ghana maintains its welcoming nature.”
The Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill, currently under review by Parliament, aims to criminalize LGBTQ+ activities, curb the promotion and advocacy of LGBTQ+ content, and provide support and safeguards for children and individuals associated with LGBTQ+ matters.
In July 2023, the Supreme Court of Ghana dismissed an application seeking to halt the consideration of the bill by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin.
The application, filed by a researcher named Dr. Amanda Odoi, contended that the ongoing bill deliberation is a breach of Article 108 of the 1992 Constitution.
Article 108 of the Constitution stipulates that no bill or motion related to taxation or charges on public funds shall be considered in Parliament unless introduced by the president.
The applicant’s argument is that the bill, when fully assessed, would impose a charge on public funds and violate the 1992 Constitution as it is a private members bill.
This legal action further fuels the ongoing discourse and controversy surrounding the anti-LGBTQ+ bill, highlighting the diverse perspectives held by various stakeholders on the proposed legislation.