Ghana’s Supreme Court Rejects Plea to Halt Progression of LGBTQI+ Bill

Ghana's Supreme Court Rejects Plea to Halt Progression of LGBTQI+ Bill

The recent developments surrounding the controversial LGBTQI+ Bill in Ghana have sparked intense debates across various spheres of the country. This article explores the dismissal of a crucial application by the Supreme Court (SC), which sought to stop the Parliament from further considering the LGBTQI+ Bill. The application was filed by researcher Dr. Amanda Odoi, who alleged that Parliament’s involvement with the proposed law was in violation of the 1992 Constitution. As it stands, this development has significant implications for the LGBTQI+ community in Ghana, and it is crucial to understand the details and potential impacts of this decision.

Case Dismissal:

The Supreme Court dismissed Dr. Amanda Odoi’s application, a landmark moment in the journey of the LGBTQI+ Bill. The case, which had its roots in concerns over parliamentary overreach and constitutional rights, was withdrawn by Dr. Odoi’s legal team who had previously filed a case of contempt against the Speaker of Parliament.

Chief State Attorney Dr. Sylvia Aduse commented on the dismissal, stating that Dr. Odoi’s legal team failed to demonstrate how they would suffer or which of their rights needed to be safeguarded in the interim period. The dismissal of the case has cleared the path for Parliament to continue its consideration of the Bill.

Parliament’s Stance:

Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the Members of Parliament unanimously approved and adopted the report from the Committee on Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs. The report recommended the passage of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021.

This Bill, which has been under intense scrutiny, has been framed as an effort to preserve traditional Ghanaian family values. The controversial aspect lies in its potential impact on the rights and freedoms of the LGBTQI+ community in Ghana.

Implications of the Bill:

The LGBTQI+ Bill, as proposed, criminalizes what it terms “gross indecency” in public. This is defined as any public display of affection between individuals in an LGBTQI+ relationship. This controversial aspect of the Bill has raised concerns among human rights advocates who argue that such a law would further marginalize the already vulnerable LGBTQI+ community in Ghana.

Additionally, the Bill specifically targets intersex individuals, permitting the State to recommend “corrective therapy” or surgery. This provision has been criticized as violating international human rights standards.

Pressure on the Presidency:

In the past year, religious leaders in Ghana have increased pressure on President Nana Akufo-Addo to clarify his stance on LGBTQI+ issues. The President is under scrutiny in a nation where “homosexual conduct” is already illegal. The passage of the LGBTQI+ Bill could mark a significant turning point in Ghana’s approach to sexual orientation and gender identity rights.


The Supreme Court’s dismissal of the application against the Parliament’s consideration of the LGBTQI+ Bill marks a pivotal moment in Ghana’s legal landscape. As this controversial legislation continues to progress through Parliament, it will undoubtedly provoke further dialogue on LGBTQI+ rights, the separation of powers, and the constitutionality of such Bills in Ghana. As these debates unfold, the international community, human rights advocates, and the LGBTQI+ community will be keenly watching to see how these developments shape Ghana’s legal and social landscape in the years to come.


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