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NewsSome tourists may find Ghana unattractive if anti-LGBTQ+ bill becomes a law...

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Some tourists may find Ghana unattractive if anti-LGBTQ+ bill becomes a law – Egyapa Mercer

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The designated Minister of Tourism, Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer, foresees repercussions on Ghana’s tourism industry if the Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill (Anti-LGBTQ Bill) is approved.

Speaking before Parliament’s vetting committee on March 5, Mercer highlighted the potential deterrence for visitors due to the bill, emphasizing its impact on the country’s cultural identity.

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Despite these concerns, Mercer suggests that promoting domestic tourism could alleviate the potential decline in international tourist arrivals.

He stressed the importance of effectively marketing Ghana to both citizens and foreign tourists to sustain tourism growth.

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Regarding the bill’s possible effect on Ghana’s attractiveness, Mercer acknowledges varying perspectives on lifestyle choices within the cultural setting.

He emphasized the need to strategically promote Ghana and navigate the law, especially if the President assents to it.

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Mr Mercer asserted that, “All I can say is that it definitely will have an impact one way or the other. Some people who believe that lifestyle should be allowed everywhere may find Ghana unattractive. Some people who believe in our culture would find Ghana an attractive place.”

The Tourism Minister-designate underscores the significance of marketing efforts to encourage people to visit Ghana, particularly by promoting domestic tourism. He believes this approach can address potential shortfalls or issues arising from decreased interest due to the new law.

On February 28, Parliament passed the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, penalizing LGBTQ sexual acts and promoting rights of non-conventional identities. While some welcome the bill, concerns about discrimination and constitutional freedoms have been raised by organizations like CHRAJ.

Sam George, Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, argues that the bill aligns with the 1992 constitution, countering the concerns raised. The Finance Ministry advises against President Akufo-Addo signing the bill, citing potential financial challenges, including the risk of losing over $3 billion in World Bank funding for various programs and projects.

In response, President Akufo-Addo reassures the international community of Ghana’s commitment to upholding human rights. He highlights the ongoing legal challenge at the Supreme Court and assures that no action will be taken by the government on the bill until a decision is reached.

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