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General News of Thursday, 14 October 2021

Source: gbcghanaonline.com

We do not support same-sex marriage, we are against violation of human rights - Akoto Ampaw

Private legal practitioner Akoto Ampaw, Private legal practitioner Akoto Ampaw,

A member of the Coalition of Lawyers, Academics and other Professionals calling for Parliament to scrap the Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill, Akoto Ampaw, says the Coalition does not support same-sex marriage.

According to Mr Ampaw, the group rather abhors the violation of human rights.

“Let’s be clear, we are not advocating as a group for same-sex marriage. Many of the people who seek to rouse public discontent against us are saying that we are promoting same-sex marriage. If you read our Memorandum, we do not say anywhere that we support same-sex marriage. We do not support any violation of their rights because they are human beings.”

The bill, titled “The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021”, prescribes severe sanctions against various activities of the LGBT+ community.

But speaking on the GTV’s Breakfast Show, Lawyer Akoto Ampaw said the Bill is in direct conflict with a number of constitutionally protected fundamental freedoms and human rights.

“Every person, not even every Ghanaian citizen, is entitled to the enjoyment of the fundamental human rights guaranteed under the Constitution. And our position as a group is not that there are no limitations to those rights. Almost all the rights under the Constitution have limitations but the limitations raise a very high bar, you must be able to demonstrate that the restriction is necessary first, and secondly, the limitation is reasonable.”

“The case is being made that the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians do not like gays and therefore there should be a law against them. We are treading a very slippery road because if the view of Ghanaians is that anything that the overwhelming majority do not like should be criminalised, then it means the Constitution has no place,” he said on Wednesday, October 13, 2021.

“It means today that a small minority like the LGBTQ group has been targeted and their existence criminalised, tomorrow, God forbid, it could be some small religious group that people don’t like, they will criminalise them contrary to the constitution. The next day it will be other Minorities in the society and this was what happened under Adolf Hitler.’’

He disclosed that democracy evolves both the Majority rule and the protection of the Minority.

“97% should not be used as a basis for passing a law for 3% of the population. You do not simply say that because you are in the democratic society, everything that the majority says, even if it violates the interest of the minority, it should go.’’

He urged Christian organisations to be tolerant and not promote hate.

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