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October 3, 2023
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Supreme Court throws out LGBTQ+ injunction application against Parliament

The Supreme Court has in a unanimous decision dismissed an injunction application that was filed against Parliament’s consideration of the anti-LGBTQ bill.

The nine-member panel chaired by Chief Justice Gertrude Torkornoo held that it cannot injunct the parliamentary proceedings on the bill.

The court says it has not been convinced to issue such an order at this stage since the matters raised will be dealt with in the substantive case.

On Wednesday, July 5, Parliament adopted the motion of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliament Committee on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill popularly known as the anti-gay bill.

A researcher Dr Amanda Odoi alleged that parliament’s work on the proposed law is in breach of the constitution.

She therefore filed a suit at the Supreme Court, seeking sanctions against the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, for allowing the House to proceed with the anti-LGBTQ+ bill despite pending legal actions.

In her suit, Dr Odoi argued that the Speaker had shown contempt and disregard for court processes.

The court documents stated that Alban Bagbin has continually violated and shown utter disregard for the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and the court process.

“The respondent has continually violated and shown utter disregard for the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and the court process.

“That the respondent’s clear, intentional and continuous disregard of the court process necessitates the Respondent being sanctioned for contempt in the public interest and to protect the dignity of the Court,” the Court documents state.

“That by his conduct in directing or causing Parliament to proceed to a Second Reading of the Bill, in full knowledge of the pending suit and related interlocutory injunction application, the Respondent has disregarded and disrespected the authority of this Court.

“That such disregard interferes with the outcome of the pending litigation, brings the administration of justice into disrepute and undermines public confidence in the judicial system.”

But the contempt case was withdrawn by her lawyers.

Dr Odoi is one of two citizens who have sued the Speaker of Parliament and the Attorney General over the anti-LGBTQ+ bill.

This legal action adds to the ongoing debate and controversy surrounding the anti-LGBTQ+ bill, with stakeholders expressing differing opinions on the proposed legislation.

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