Supreme Court’s ruling will determine passage of Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill- Akufo-Addo

Source The Ghana Report

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has pledged to await the ruling of the Supreme Court before making a decision on the controversial anti-LGBTQ+ Bill recently passed by Parliament.

Akufo-Addo’s swift response follows the pressure mounted on him by some individuals to assent to the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill.

Speaking at the New Year greetings event with members of the Diplomatic Corps at Peduase, President Akufo-Addo emphasized Ghana’s commitment to upholding its Human Rights record.

“I am aware that last week’s bi-partisan passage by Parliament of the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, on a Private Member’s motion, has raised considerable anxieties in certain quarters of the diplomatic community and amongst some friends of Ghana that she may be turning her back on her, hitherto, enviable, longstanding record on human rights observance and attachment to the rule of law. I want to assure you that no such back-sliding will be con-templated or occasioned.

“I think it will serve little purpose to go, at this stage, into the details of the origin of this proposed law, which is yet to reach my desk. But, suffice it to say, that I have learnt that, today, a challenge has been mounted at the Supreme Court by a concerned citizen to the constitutionality of the proposed legislation.

“In the circumstances, it would be, as well, for all of us to hold our hands, and await the decision of the Court before any action is taken. The operation of the institutions of the Ghanaian state will determine the future trajectory of the rule of law and human rights compliance in our country” he added.

It will be recalled that on February 28, 2024, Parliament approved the bill that criminalizes LGBTQ+ activities, as well as their promotion, advocacy, and funding in the country.

Those found guilty could face a jail term ranging from 6 months to 3 years, while those promoting and sponsoring the act could face a jail term between 3 to 5 years.

The Bill’s passage has attracted criticism from various stakeholders, including the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Evelyn Palmer.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s finance ministry has urged President Akufo-Addo not to sign the controversial anti-LGBTQ+ bill passed by parliament.

It warns the country could lose a total of $3.8bn (£3bn) in World Bank funding over the next five to six years.

Ghana is suffering a major economic crisis and had a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2023.

There are concerns that any shortfall in funding from the World Bank and other donors could derail the economic recovery.

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