top of page

Ghana Court Delays Anti Homosexuality Ruling on basis of Insulting Language

By Melanie Nathan, May 09, 2024

It is no wonder! While an excuse to hold this up, relieving the President of immediate action, when Parliament heard debate for the new Ghanian law, the Parliamentarians were giggly and embarrassed to even use the word "homosexual" and to discuss the subject, serving only to exacerbate the ignorance. The taboo is so stringent that the most benign of terms are likely offensive!

UPDATES on Ghana's New Anti-Homosexuality Act, Known as The Ghanian Family Values ACT 2024.

Ghana's top court postpones hearing on challenge to anti-LGBTQ bill

Reuters Reported on May 09, 2024:

"Ghana's Supreme Court said that lawyers battling over the legality of one of Africa's most restrictive anti-LGBTQ bill must amend their motions due to insulting language in their submissions and then postponed the case.

Parliament unanimously passed the bill that would intensify a crackdown on LGBTQ rights in the West African nation in February, but President Nana Akufo-Addo has delayed signing it with his office citing pending challenges at the Supreme Court. The ruling by Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo to adjourn Wednesday's first hearing on the challenges without setting a new date further delays any resolution on a bill that, if signed into law, could jeopardise donor funding for a country facing an economic crisis."

Gay sex is already punishable with up to three years in jail in Ghana. If the bill takes effect, it will lengthen the sentence and intensify a crackdown on the rights of LGBTQ people and those accused of promoting lesbian, gay or other minority sexual or gender identities."

Melanie Nathan who directs African Human Rights Coalition and is a country conditions expert witness testifying and reporting for LGBTQI+ asylum seekers in the USA and globally, notes: The societal stigma and taboo against LGBTI people in Ghana is surging as a result of the very existence of this already passed legislation, regardless of its trajectory. Whether the Act is signed into law or not, and even if it is invalidated on its merits by a court of law, the result will be the same for LGBTI people in terms of the heightened discrimination, persecution and violence experienced because it licenses a myriad of harms exacted by state and non-state actors alike. The critical difference that will make it worse, through the validation, assent or final enactment of the law is the fact that people can be sentenced to years in jail simply for identifying as LGBTQI+ or for being found to be an ally. It also criminalizes other aspects not previously criminal under the code. At African Human Rights Coalition we receive daily reports of abuse, persecution and extreme violence - and also of instances where police arrest arbitrarily regardless of whether an arrest is lawful or not. This usually results in a bribe and no charges, and starts a perpetual dynamic of constant abuse suffered by the LGBTI person, unless they flee the country, which is only possible for some, and impossible for others. We do. not have enough funding to handle the current crisis. I predict it will get worse.


Reuters Reported on April 29: Ghana's high court dismisses bid to speed up anti-LGBTQ law passage

"A high court in Ghana has dismissed a legal challenge to President Nana Akufo-Addo's decision not to act immediately on an anti-LGBTQ bill passed by parliament in February, it ruled on Monday.

Lawmakers who unanimously passed legislation that would intensify a crackdown on LGBTQ rights in the West African nation have been calling on President Akufo-Addo to promulgate the new law.

But the presidency has said it would not forward the bill to the president for assent until two legal challenges against it were settled, sparking criticism in parliament."


bottom of page