The Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2024 passed by Parliament on Wednesday February 28, 2024 is ready for transmission to President Akufo-Addo for assent Starr News sources have revealed.

The bill popularly called the Anti-gay Bill has been a subject of controversy for the past 3 years. Following the passage of the bill, the draft department of parliament had to compile the legislation factoring in all amendments carried during the 3 different consideration stages the bill was subjected to.

The Ministry of Finance in a statement following the passage of the bill warned Ghana could lose $3.4 billion from foreign partners as a result as well as jeopardize the IMF bailout program.

Even before the bill could find its way to the desk of President Akufo-Addo, he told members of the diplomatic community at a meeting he would defer any action on the legislation until a process filed at the Supreme Court against the bill is determined.

“I am aware that last week’s bi-partisan passage by Parliament for 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 contemplated 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.” Akufo-Addo assured.

A day after President Akufo-Addo’s assurance to the diplomatic community, a journalist Richard Dela Sky filed processes at the Supreme Court to challenge the constitutionality of the bill.

This legal challenge comes on the back of another one from a private citizen in 2023 which sought to injunct parliament and the Speaker from proceeding with the bill citing article 108 of the constitution which requires private members’ bill not to impose a charge on the consolidated fund in the opinion of the one presudiy. The injunction application was however thrown out by the Supreme Court.

Some legal brains have however questioned the basis for the processes filed at the Supreme Court since the Apex Court of the land among other things interprets laws and not bills.

Starr News sources reveal barring any last minute hitches the Clerk of Parliament Cyril K.O. Nsiah will transmit the bill to the Presidency next week.

The final bill has been compiled with all stakeholders in Parliament including Speaker Alban Bagbin combing through the final works to cross the Ts and dot the Is.

Given the position of President Akufo-Addo not to assent to the bill until the cases at the Supreme Court are dispatched with, he will under article 106 of the constitution have 14 days within which to communicate back to Parliament his reasons for failing to sign it off.

He will also be expected to communicate to the house if he so wishes clauses he might want amended if any.

The house however can by two thirds majority pass the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2024 again after which the President will have no option but to sign it into law.

Source: Ghana/ Alhassan