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Friday, April 12, 2024

Passage of anti-LGBTQ+Bill will worsen brain drain in Ghana – Academic laments

An academic and researcher, Dr Amanda Odoi, has expressed concern about the potential increase in the rate of brain drain now that the Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill which bars the practice of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) activities in Ghana has been passed.

The bill imposes a prison sentence of up to three years for anyone convicted of identifying as LGBTQ+. It also imposes a maximum five-year jail term for forming or funding LGBTQ+ groups.

MPs frustrated attempts to replace prison sentences with community service and counselling.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Dr Odoi highlighted the trend observed in various countries where individuals, feeling targeted or unsafe due to discriminatory legislation, choose to leave.

She, therefore, concluded that with the passage of the anti-LGBTQ+ bill, there could be a significant departure of skilled individuals who have been trained in the country.

“The passage of the Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill will increase the rate of brain drain. We’ve realized that in most countries, people who feel that they are being targeted are leaving. So right now, by passing this Bill, a lot of skilled people we have trained may have to leave this country at this point because they do not feel safe,” she said on Wednesday.

The academic further explained that the country has invested time and resources in training these skilled individuals, and losing them due to the passage of the bill could have negative consequences for the nation’s development and progress.

Parliament on Wednesday, February 28, unanimously passed the Anti-LGBTQ+ bill following the completion of the third reading.

The anti-LGBTQ+ Bill has been a topic of intense debate and discussion since it was introduced to the legislature three years ago. While proponents argued that it is necessary to uphold cultural and religious values, opponents argued that portions of the Bill violates human rights and promotes discrimination.

Since its passage, many opponents have shared their displeasure with some Civil society groups threatening to take legal action should President Akufo-Addo assent to the bill for it to become law.

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