Akoto Ampaw, others opposing anti-gay bill for financial gains – Sam George

The NDC Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George, has questioned the motive of the group opposing the anti-gay bill, claiming the group is only against the bill for financial gains.

The anti-gay bill currently before Parliament and sponsored by some eight MPs seeks to criminalize and impose jail terms on lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and queers (LGBTQ+), and people who promote such activities in the country.

But a group made up of academics, lawyers, researchers, civil society organizations (CSOs), and human rights activists has kicked against it. They describe the bill as a flagrant violation of the 1992 Constitution, as it seeks to curtail freedom of expression and the media, the right to assemble, and the right to join any association of one’s choice.

According to the group, the bill — Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill — when passed into law, would erode fundamental human rights, as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution, and send Ghana to the dark ages of lawlessness and intolerance.

The group, made up of 18 members, has already submitted a 30-page memorandum to Parliament, detailing what it described as the unconstitutionality of the bill.

But speaking on the Morning Starr on Wednesday, Sam George said the real motive of the group is to make money from pro-gay groups and activists.

“Go and check all the Civil Society Groups they belong to and check where their funding sources are and then you’ll understand that this is a bread and butter issue for them. Because if they say they don’t support the act and that they are fighters for the rights of people, why were they silent when the issue of the rasta boys came up, why the two Rastafarian boys do not have rights? When Kaaka was killed, which of them rose up to speak? when eight Ghanaians were killed in the conduct of the 2020 elections which of these eighteen individuals, who today tell us that they are doyens of human rights, fighters of freedom for human rights which of them spoke?

“They claim they are doing this on the basis of principles, I say it’s a financial monetary principle because if you have principles, your principles will show constantly in your activism. I have given instances over the past ten months when they’ve not spoken, they’ve been silent. Today, because there’s LGBT money to be paid they’ve found their voices.”

Members of the group opposing the anti-gay bill are; include lawyer Mr. Akoto Ampaw; author, scholar, and former Director of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Prof. Emerita Takyiwaa Manuh; a communications and media expert, Prof. Kwame Karikari; the Dean of the University of Ghana (Legon) School of Law, Prof. Raymond Atuguba, and the Dean of the University of Ghana School of Information and Communication Studies, Prof. Audrey Gadzekpo.

The Director of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata; the Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor H. Kwasi Prempeh, and a former Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Prof. Kofi Gyimah-Boadi, are also members of the group.

Others are Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin, Dr Yao Graham, Mr Kwasi Adu Amankwah, Dr Kojo Asante, Mr Kingsley Ofei-Nkansah, Mr Akunu Dake, Mr Tetteh Hormeku-Ajie, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby, Dr Joseph Asunka and Nana Ama Agyemang Asante.

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