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Supreme Court to hear Richard Sky’s lawsuit against anti-LGBTQI bill today

The Supreme Court of Ghana will today hear the lawsuit brought journalist Richard Sky against the anti-LGBTQI bill.

Chief Justice (CJ) Gertrude Torkornoo

The apex court will also hear a similar lawsuit against the bill by Dr. Amanda Odoi.

In his suit, Richard Dela Sky is challenging the constitutionality of Parliament in passing the “Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill.”

The Plaintiff who is seeking the apex court to declare the bill null and void, also argues that the passage of the bill violates provisions of the 1992 Constitution particularly Article 33(5) as well as Articles 12(1) and (2), 15(1), 17(1) and (2), 18(2), and 21(1) (a) (b) (d) and (e).

Mr. Sky is seeking eight reliefs including an order that “the Speaker of Parliament contravened Article 108(a)(ii) of the Constitution, in light of Article 296(a)(b) and (c), by admitting and allowing Parliament to proceed upon and pass ‘The Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2024’ into law as the same imposes a charge upon the Consolidated Fund or other public funds of Ghana.”

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Dr. Odoi has raised concerns about specific provisions within the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill.

She is also seeking a restraining order to prevent the Speaker, the Attorney General, and the Clerk of Parliament from sending the bill to President Akufo-Addo for his approval.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has appealed to the Chief Justice to allow live TV coverage of proceedings on the bill, commonly referred to as the anti-LGBTQ bill.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Justice, the Attorney General said the significant public interest surrounding the anti-gay bill was the basis for the request.

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“Respectfully, in view of the public interest in the cases concerning the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill 2024 (the Bill) I would like to recommend that the media (including radio and television) be given full access to the relevant courts to undertake a coverage of all proceedings in those cases concerning the Bill.

“The cases under reference are as follows: Supreme Court 1. Dr. Amanda Odoi v The Speaker of Parliament and Another (Suit No. J1/13/2023), and 2. Richard Dela Sky v The Parliament of Ghana and Another (Suit No. J1/9/2024).

“High Court 1. Mr. Paul Boama-Sefa v The Speaker of Parliament and Another (Suit No. D45/SF.128/2023), and 2. Dr. Prince Obiri-Korang v The Attorney-General (Suit No. J1/18/2021).

“It is my respectful view that the transparency to be engendered by a coverage of the proceedings would be in the best interest of the administration of justice.”

The lawsuits have stalled the transmission of the bill to the Presidency for President Akufo-Addo's assent, have generated national interest and discourse.

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