Ghana News

LGBTQI+ Bill: I do not represent Nana Addo – Akoto Ampaw tells critics

Lawyer Akoto Ampaw has spoken about his relationship with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo relative to his stance against an anti-LGBTQ+ bill currently before Parliament.

Ampaw is the leader of a group of 18 human rights defenders who want the Bill titled: “Promotion of Proper Sexual Rights and Ghana Family Values Bill 2021,” to be dismissed by the lawmaking house.

He stressed in an interview with state broadcaster, GTV, on Wednesday that his position as a lawyer for the president had nothing to do with his opposition to the bill.

“I do not represent the President of Ghana, I do not. I am his lawyer alright but in terms of my views on public issues, I do not parrot the views of the president. There are policies that they pursue that I do not agree with. I am an independent person.

“I am not like those Ghanaians who because of money and other things will say that my friend is the president so everything he says I will accept. That is not how I have led my life,” he added.

With respect to accusations that the group he leads were likely supporting th LGBTQ+ community for financial reasons primarily, he responded.

“Anybody who really knows me, knows that I am not a pimp. I do not take money to carry out other people’s agenda. I fight for principle.

“I do not depend on anybody to make my living. So let us be clear, much more foreign forces. I have all my life fought for the independence and sovereignty of Ghana. So it is ridiculous for people to be suggesting that we have gone and collected money in order to promote this fight. “

Promoters of the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill

The LGBTQ+ Bill before Parliament is titled: “The Promotion of Proper Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021.” It is a Private Members’ Bill sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

The eight MPs who sponsored the Bill are Sam Nartey George (MP, Ningo Prampram), Emmanuel Bedzrah (MP, Ho West) Della Adjoa Sowah (MP, Kpando), John Ntim Fordjour (MP, Assin South) – the sole NPP MP sponsoring the Bill.

The remaining sponsors are Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini (MP, Tamale North), Helen Adjoa Ntoso (MP, Krachi West), Rita Naa Odoley Sowah (MP, La Dadekotopon) and Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor (MP, South Dayi).

Ghana’s pro-gay collective

A group of 18 academicians and human rights defenders have voiced strong opposition to the bill before Parliament, which is seeking to extensively criminalize the activities of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, LGBTQ+.

The group submitted a memorandum to Parliament seeking that the bill is rejected because it was largely unconstitutional and infringed on basic human rights.

Members of Parliament behind the bill, led by Ningo Prampram MP Sam Nartey George, have rubbished the memorandum and asserted that the bill will be passed into law because it has the support of the wider Ghanaian populace.

 

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