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Supreme Court In Ghana Rejects Bid To Block Anti-LGBTQ Bill

Ghana’s Supreme Court has 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.

In a unanimous decision on Wednesday, the court said that the applicant, an academic researcher called Dr Amanda Odoi, failed to convince the court to stop parliament from continuing with a bill that was already being debated by MPs.

Dr Odoi wanted debates on the bill to be put on hold until the court heard her case which challenges the legality of the bill on the grounds that parliamentary leaders failed to do an economic impact analysis of its impact – if it were to be passed.

The Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2021 would see LGBT people jailed for a maximum of three years and promoters of it imprisoned for up to 10 years.

It has been widely criticized as a violation of the rights of sexual minorities in the country.

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 says/

However, Ghana’s bill, backed by religious and traditional leaders, includes jail sentences of up to 10 years for advocating for LGBTQ rights.

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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