Ghana supreme court rejects bid to block anti-LGBTQ bill

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07/19/2023

ACCRA, July 19 (Reuters) – Ghana’s Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a legal challenge seeking to block parliament from passing a stringent anti-LGBT bill, paving the way for its ratification.  Lawmakers in the West African nation have been debating a bill since August 2021 that would criminalize same-sex relations, being transgender and advocating LGBTQ rights. Most MPs are in favour. Passing the Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values bill would further reduce freedoms in a country where gay sex is already punishable with up to three years in jail, critics and activists say. Amanda Odoi, an academic researcher, filed a lawsuit on July 7 challenging the bill’s constitutionality, saying it would impact donor aid and other forms of financial support. Ghana’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled her arguments were not sufficiently convincing to grant an injunction. The ruling cleared the way for the bill, one of the harshest towards the LGBTQ community in Africa, to go through a final stage of parliamentary approval before being signed into law.

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