Ghana court declines to force president to sign anti-gay bill

The High Court in Ghana’s capital, Accra, has dismissed a bid to compel the president to sign a controversial anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and other (LGBTQI+) bill passed by parliament in February.

President Nana Akufo-Addo’s office said last month that he would not assent to the bill until the Supreme Court rules on its constitutionality, sparking a political row in the west African country.

Justice Ellen Lordina Serwaa Mireku backed the presidency’s argument, ruling on Monday that it would be inappropriate to force president Akufo-Addo to sign the bill yet it still faces two pending Supreme Court challenges, Reuters news agency reported.

The two challenges were filed separately by two Ghanaians – activist Amanda Odoi and lawyer Richard Dela Sky.

They are seeking to block the anti-LGBTQI+ bill from becoming law.

The bill imposes a jail term of up to three years for anyone identifying as LGBTQI+ and five years for promoting their activities.

The motion to compel president Akufo-Addo to sign the controversial bill had been filed by member of parliament Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor.
His lawyer said he would appeal against the ruling, local media reported.

The bill has fuelled political divisions in Ghana, with the finance ministry warning that the country could lose at least US$3,8 billion in World Bank funding if it becomes law.

But several legislators and citizens are pressuring president Akufo-Addo to sign it. – BBC

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