Attorney General appeals for live coverage of anti-LGBTQ bill proceedings

Attorney General appeals for live coverage of anti-LGBTQ bill proceedings

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has appealed to the Chief Justice to allow live coverage of proceedings related to the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values 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.

“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,” he stated.

According to him, “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),” he added.

He concluded by adding that “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.”

Broadcast Journalist, Richard Dela Sky and Researcher Dr. Amanda Odoi will appear before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, to move their respective lawsuits challenging the passage of the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill and its possible assent.

The two controversial lawsuits have since stopped the Bill from being transmitted from parliament to the Presidency for President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo to possibly assent to it.

Richard Sky, also a private legal practitioner, and Dr Amanda Odoi, a researcher at the University of Cape Coast are challenging the constitutionality of the passage of the LQBTQ+ Bill passed by Parliament.

President Akufo-Addo had since declined to receive the bill pointing to the two pending cases at the Supreme Court as the basis.

Richard Dela Sky per his action at the Supreme Court 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 contended 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) of the Constitution.

According to him, provisions in the bill “raise profound concerns regarding the potential infringement of the fundamental human rights and freedoms guaranteed to every Ghanaian by the Constitution.”

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.”

The bill, which prohibits LGBTQ activities and their promotion, advocacy, and funding, was passed by Parliament on Wednesday, February 28, 2024.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has yet to assent to the bill and has stated that he will await the Supreme Court’s ruling before deciding on the controversial bill.

Reliefs sought

Mr. Sky in his writ is seeking four declarations and four orders as follows;

i. A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 33(5) of the Constitution of 1992, in light of Article 12(1)(2), 15(1), 17(1) of the ‘Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2024’ by Parliament on 28th February 2024, Contravened the Constitution and is to that extend null, void and of no effect.

ii. A declaration that the Speaker of Parliament contravened Article 108(a) (11) of the Constitution, in light of Articles 296(a)(b)(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.

iii. A declaration that Parliament exceeded its authority under Articles 106(2) and 108(a)(ii) in passing “The Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill 2024, as the same imposes a charge upon the Consolidated Fund or other Public funds of Ghana.

iv. A declaration that, upon the true and proper interpretation of Articles 102 and 104(1) of the Constitution, Parliament lacked the requisite quorum to pass “The Human Sexual Rights and Family Values BilI, 2024.”

v. An order restraining the Speaker of Parliament and the Clerk to Parliament from presenting The Human and Sexual Values Bill, 2024 to the President of the Republic for his assent.

vi. An order restraining the President of the Republic from assenting to The Human and Sexual Values Bill, 2024, as such action will directly contravene the Constitutional safeguards of liberties and rights of Ghanaians.

vii. An injunction barring any attempts to enforce the provisions of The Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bil 2024, particularly those criminalizing same-sex relationships and related advocacy efforts.

viii. Such further orders or directions as to this Honourable Court may seem to meet.

Source: Citinewsroom.com

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