Ghana’s parliament has passed an anti-LGBTQIA+ law that has made identifying as part of the LGBTQIA+ community illegal.

Homosexuality is already illegal in Ghana and same-sex sexual activity carries a three year prison sentence.

Under the Human Sexual rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, the “wilful promotion, sponsorship, or support of LGBTQ+ activities” will result in a prison sentence up to five years for those convicted, which includes funding queer groups.

Those who identify as LGBTQIA+ could face a three year prison sentence.

The Human Sexual Rights and Family Values bill will come into effect only if President Nana Akufo-Addo signs it into law, though he is yet to confirm if he supports the legislation.

The bill is sponsored by a coalition of Christian, Muslim and Ghanaian traditional leaders, according to Reuters, and it has the support of the country’s two major political parties.

Its current form is a watered-down version of what was originally proposed, with jail terms shortened and a contentious clause on so-called ‘conversion therapy’ removed entirely.

“It will exacerbate fear and hatred”

Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS Executive Director, released a statement that said: “The Human Sexual rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, a private member’s bill passed by parliament, has not yet become a law in Ghana. If the bill does become a law, it will affect everyone.”

Ahead of it becoming law, she added: “It will exacerbate fear and hatred, could incite violence against fellow Ghanaian citizens, and will negatively impact on free speech, freedom of movement and freedom of association.

“If it becomes law, it will obstruct access to life-saving services, undercut social protection, and jeopardise Ghana’s development success.”

The Big 18 & Human Rights Coalition, an umbrella group of lawyers and activists in Ghana, said at a Tuesday news conference that the bill “criminalises a person’s identity and strips away fundamental human rights” and urged the president to reject it, according to CBS.