Uganda's anti-LGBTQ law met with dismay in Ghana

STORY: Alex Kofi Donkor was "disappointed" but "not surprised" as he watched Uganda enact one of Africa's harshest anti-LGBTQ laws to date.

He's the founder of civil rights group 'LGBT Rights Ghana' - in a country that has its own proposed anti-LGBTQ bill.

"Take away my sexuality and I am still an African. So what is it about me that makes me un-African, so much so that you need to legislate laws to criminalize me?"

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni signed the new bill on Monday (May 29), which includes the death penalty for so-called "aggravated homosexuality".

The legislation has drawn Western condemnation and risks sanctions from aid donors.

"I think it’s very barbaric, it’s primitive, it’s colloquial, it’s colonial, it’s impeding. It just screams underdevelopment. It screams lack of creativity, it screams divisiveness within families and society. And I don’t think that should be the way to go as Africans."

Opposition lawmakers in Ghana proposed a similar, though milder, bill in 2021.

Gay sex is already punishable by three years in prison in Ghana - though no one has been prosecuted in years.

The new bill would lengthen jail terms and force some to undergo "conversion therapy".

Edem Senanu, chairman of 'Advocates for Christ Ghana' said he welcomed Uganda "setting the pace" on the issue.

"There are specific practices that we are extremely concerned about. It’s not a wholesale - it's not about the people. It is about the things that are going on that scientifically, medically, culturally challenge our view."

Similar to Uganda's new bill, Ghana's would also criminalize the promoting and funding of LGBTQ activities as well as public displays of same-sex affection.

There have been no national opinion polls on Ghana's bill, which has been condemned by U.N. rights experts.

However, its supporters say the legislation has broad backing in the largely Christian country.