Journalist drags Parliament to Supreme Court over anti-gay bill 

Story: News Desk 

A journalist, Richard Dela Sky has filed a lawsuit against Parliament at the Supreme Court regarding the passage of the Anti-LGBTQ+ bill. 

The controversial bill was unanimously passed by legislators on February 28, 2024, after years of deliberation. 

Pressure is intensifying on President Akufo-Addo from Members of Parliament (MP)  to sign the bill into law.

However, the President had already indicated that he would  refrain from giving his assent until the court makes a pronouncement on the case.

The bill proposes a three-to-five-year jail term for individuals who promote or sponsor LGBTQ activities, while those caught in the act are to be sentenced to a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 3 years.

The reliefs sought by the journalist include an order restraining President Akufo-Addo from assenting to the bill and also preventing the “Speaker of Parliament and the Clerk to Parliament from presenting ‘The Human and Sexual Values Bill, 2024’ to the President of the Republic for his assent.”

According to the plaintiff, portions of the bill go contrary to the tenets of the 1992 Constitution for which reason it should be deemed null and void.

The writ, filed on March 5, 2024, also pointed to the fact the sections of the legislation impose a charge on the Consolidated Fund or other public funds of Ghana.

The bill’s sponsors such as Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam George believe no part of the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill (Anti-LGBTQ Bill) infringes on the laws in the 1992 constitution.

Speaking on Newsfile on March 2, 2024  on Saturday, he pointed out that many individuals who opposed  the bill by arguing that it contradicted  the provisions of the 1992 constitution, have failed to specify the exact sections.

“This is a social issue and so Parliament is within the same Article 17.4 exercising its right that the constitution has conferred on us to deal with the social issue. It says for the matters relating to adoption, which is in this bill, marriage is in this bill, divorce, burial, and the evolution of property. But clearly, parliament has not acted ultra vires the constitution,” he said.

The Finance Ministry is raising concerns about the implications of President Akufo-Addo’s potential assent to the recently passed bill.

The Ministry outlined the negative implications of the document on its expenditure, key government plans, and projects and urged President Akufo-Addo to hold off on signing the bill into law as it may cost the country greatly.

These risks include a potential loss of $850 million in budgetary support from the World Bank this year alone.

In the 5-page document, the Ministry explained that “for 2024 Ghana will lose US$600 million Budget support and US$250 million for the Financial Stability Fund.”

“This will negatively impact Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves and exchange rate stability as these inflows are expected to shore the country’s reserve position.

Over the next six years, the Ministry explained that “Ghana is likely to lose US$3.8 billion in World Bank Financing.”

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