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BY Melanie Nathan, July 07, 2024.

The Supreme Court of Ghana heard on July 3, 2024, the application filed by broadcast journalist, Richard Dela Sky Esq, challenging the constitutionality of the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, (FVB) passed by the country’s Parliament in February 2024. The Court will Rule on the Applications on July 17, 2024, following the July 3, hearings. The Bill has not be sent to President Nano Akufo-Ado for assent who has refused to accept receipt of it until the Court rules on two challenges before it. This has led to conflict between the Speaker in parliament and the President who is trying to ensure that the mandatory period for assent does not start run, giving the court an opportunity to rule on the controversial and harsh new Law.

To clarify, the Bill is yet to become Law because it has not been accented to by President Akufo-Addo.

It seeks to criminalize all forms of LGBT existence, identities and activities and further prescribes jail terms for consensual same-sex relations by adults, advocates, allies and sponsors of LGBTQI+ persons and activities in Ghana.

Richard Sky, in his application, is motioning the Supreme Court to declare  that the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, also known as the anti-LGBT Bill,  as null and void, on the  basis that its passage violates the country’s laws and fundamental human rights.

Mr. Dela Sky is also seeking a Supreme Court order for an interlocutory injunction to restrain Parliament from transmitting the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill to the President for consideration and a possible assent.

Sky motions (in Ghana the term used is PRAYS) that if the injunction is granted, it should remain in place until the final determination of the substantive application which seeks to declare the Bill as unconstitutional and an infringement of human rights.

The case first heard on May 8, was subsequently adjourned sini die to allow Sky to amend the two reliefs he is seeking in the interlocutory injunction and to file supplementary affidavits.

The Courts directed lawyers for Richard Sky to file a fresh motion paper for the interlocutory injunction with supporting affidavit and statement of case on or before May 17.

It also asked Thaddeus Sory, counsel for the Speaker of Parliament and the Godfred Dame, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice up to seven days after May 17 to respond to the documents to be filed by Sky.

The case was then adjourned indefinitely. Before the adjournment, the Court expressed concern over the choice of words used by both the plaintiff and lawyers for the Speaker of Parliament in the suits, describing them as inappropriate and scandalous.

All parties were advised to use temperate language and stick to the professional ethics required of them.

On that same day, the court also heard an application filed by a human rights activist, Amanda Odoi, also seeking to challenge the constitutionalist of the same anti-gay Bill.

Due to the extreme interest in the Bill the request by the attorney General to publicize the proceedings live was granted.

In sum: The bill is challenged by media and private legal practitioner Richard Dela Sky and researcher Dr. Amanda Odoi. They seek an injunction on the Speaker of Parliament to prevent the bill from proceeding to President Akufo-Addo for assent or otherwise.

Despite similarities in the petitions, Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo stated that the court will issue separate rulings since the applications were not consolidated.

My understanding both cases will be ruled upon on July 17th, 2024

 A positive ruling could legally delay the passage of the Bill into law or kill it.


STATUS OF THE CURRENT ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY LAW: IMPORTANT NOTE ON SEC 104 (1) (b) OF THE CRIMINAL OFFENCES ACT 1960 - (ACT 29) remains the current law that outlaws homosexuality in Ghana. The Court will rule on the constitutionality of this law on JULY 27, 2024, in a separate case. This law carries a jail term of three years for a person who commits an act of "unnatural carnal knowledge." The new FVB advances on this old law, seeking to criminalize all identities, support of LGBTI people, and more direct definitions of homosexuality.

OPINION MELANIE NATHAN, In my role as an expert on country conditions for Ghana, no matter which way the Court rules in any of these cases, LGBTQI+ Ghanaians will remain victims of its trajectory to include persecution and extreme dangers.

If the Court rules agains the law, it will be a great victory for democracy, the separation of branches of government and human rights in Ghana. However due to the stringent societal taboos and the extreme popularity of the law by Ghanians, the LGBTI community of Ghana will remain at serious risk for severe backlash, including the ongoing discrimination, persecution, arbitrary arrests, detentions, and violence, with deathly consequences.

If the law is allowed passage though an assenting by the President, or through further parliamentary process if the President refuses to assent, the LGBTQI+ community will be subject to its extreme degrading and harsh terms, which includes jail terms and similar discrimination, persecution and violence that such law serves to license by state and non state actors, alike.

Whichever way this turns out, in a society where 90% of the populace is intolerant of same-sex relations and see LGBTI people as Satanic and abominations, the LGBTI community loses whatever the outcome.

CONTACT: Melanie Nathan, B.A. LL.B

Melanie Nathan, Executive Director of African Human Rights Coalition is a qualified country of origin expert witness in the United States and global immigration courts, providing expert written country conditions  reports and testimony for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, non-binary, LGBTQI + asylum seekers from African Countries, to include activists, allies and human rights defenders.

Melanie also consults multinational corporations regarding briefings and policy for operations and issue impacted by anti-homosexuality laws and country conditions. SEE HERE

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea-Conakry, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana,  Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Malawi, Mauritania, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tanzania, The Gambia,  South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe


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