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Reject Anti-Gay Bill – Akoto Ampaw, 17 Others To Parliament

An 18-member group has asked parliament to reject the proposed anti-gay bill before it.

The group led by a renowned legal practitioner, Akoto Ampaw says the bill constitutes an  “impermissible invasion of the inviolability and human dignity” of the LGBTI community.

The anti-gay bill which was first read in parliament on August 2, 2021 is spearheaded by eight legislators; MP for Ningo-Prampram Sam George, Ho West MP Emmanuel Bedzrah, MP for Kpando Della Adjoa Sowah, and John Ntim Fordjour, the MP for Assin South.

Discussions about LGBTQ+ rights in Ghana touch on sensitive chords: culture and religion. Crusaders behind the bill base their arguments on the belief that LGBTQI+ activities are alien to the country’s cultural norms and values, and are also frowned upon by all major religious groups in Ghana.

The Christian Council of Ghana – an umbrella body of Christian churches in Ghana – has declared its support to the bill. “The council wishes to state unequivocally that it supports the bill and prays that it will see the light today… Let us protect the good family system that we have inherited from our forebears,” it said in an official statement.

The Office of the National Chief Imam is also in support of the bill “homosexuality is a deviant behavior totally unacceptable in Islam. Although our religion allows us the latitude to ponder and reconsider some issues, homosexuality is certainly not one of them.” part of a statement from the office read.

The bill seeks to criminalize LGBTQI+ advocacy and its practice for at least five years.

But the 18-member group argues that “the bill violates all the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution,” adding when passed into law it would send Ghana to the dark ages of lawlessness.

“The bill violates virtually all the key fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the constitution, namely the right to freedom of speech and expression, the right to assemble, freedom of association and the right to organize, the right to freedom from discrimination and the right to human dignity,” Ampaw said at a press conference on Monday (4 October).

Other members of the group are Professor Emerita Takyiwaaa Manuh, Communication Specialist, Professor Kwame Karikari, Professor Kofi Gyimah-Boadi, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo of the Department of Communication Studies, and Dean of the School of Information and Communication Studies, University of Ghana, Dr. Rose Mensah-Kutin, Dr. Yao Graham, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata and Professor H. Kwasi Prempeh of Centre of Democratic Development (CDD).

Others are former Secretary-General of the Trades Unions Congress (TUC), Kwasi Adu Amankwah, Dr. Kojo Asante, Kingsley Ofei-Nkansah, Akunu Dake, Tetteh Hormeku-Ajie, the Dean of Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana, Professor Raymond Atuguba, Dr. Charles Wereko -Brobby, Dr. Joseph Asunka, and Nana Ama Agyemang Asante.

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