An LGBTI community center which was intended to be a safe space in Ghana was raided by the police in February. The opening of this new LGBTI venue created a massive outcry among some locals including religious leaders and government officials. As misinformation was being spread on social media, known LGBTI advocates and activists began receiving threats and pressure from local anti-gay groups.
Thankfully, the staff of the organization escaped and was able to seek safe shelter.
Now that government and police officials have publicly supported this homophobic and transphobic attack, it is being reported that other LGBT organizations in Ghana have closed their offices and halted their services as well to avoid possible violence.
According to the country’s penal code, if an offender is found guilty of “unnatural carnal knowledge” they can serve between 3 to 25 years in prison. This has been interpreted to include same-sex sexual activities. Government officials have even called for stricter laws in recent months in response to the Biden Administration’s announcement that it would put sanctions in place to countries that criminalize homosexuality. This has caused fear and panic among LGBTI community members in Ghana.
MPact stands in solidarity with the LGBTI community in Ghana where their safety and security are under attack. We call on funders and policymakers to intervene with sensitivity and to prevent detrimental impact to the ability of local LGBTI communities to access life-saving health services.
MPact has had a longstanding history of working with LGBTI leaders and grassroots organizations in Ghana to document human rights abuses, train health professionals, educate the broader community, and equip LGBTI leaders with the resources they need when their lives are put in danger or criminalized.