NDC Member of Parliament for South Dayi constituency in the Volta Region, Rockson Dafeamekpor is challenging lawyer Akoto Ampaw and his group kicking against the passage of the LGBTQ+ Bill into law to come out with the rights issues the Bill seeks to violate.
According to him, the same way the law arrested some group of people who decided to form Western Togoland even though they have freedom of association and speech, it should be enough reason for Akoto Ampaw and his group to know that laws are made to curtail the freedom of people at certain times.
Reacting to a crusade led by a private legal practitioner, Akoto Ampaw, where he argues that the Bill criminalises dissenting views and expressions contrary to the word ‘freedom and justice’ that emblazon the coat of arms, Hon. Dafeamekpor dared the renowned lawyer to show the identity of those whose rights and freedom will be violated when the Bill is passed.
“So if Akoto Ampaw feels that the Bill on LGBTQ+ is against the constitution, he should show me the people who associate themselves with the LGBTQ+ that the Bill will go against. He is talking about freedom of association, and so if one day a group of people decide to carry guns and form an association so that they can rob innocent people on the road, don’t we have a law that frowns on it?", he argued.
He, however, reminded lawyer Akoto Ampaw and his group that the constitution of Ghana already speaks against homosexuality as it is part of the criminal and other offences act; adding that the law again frowns on prostitution but wondered why the lawyer has never spoken against the arrest of prostitutes in the country since they also have their rights.
“ . . we already have a law in this country that goes against homosexuality. It has been part of our constitution as a criminal and other offences act. We have a law in this country that frowns on prostitution so why is Akoto Ampaw not writing to say that the law is violating the rights of the prostitution groups?”, he asked.
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Wereko-Brobby, Tsikata, Akoto Ampaw Others Kick Against LGBTQ Bill
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.
At a press conference in Accra yesterday, the group said its advocacy was not about whether lesbianism or gayism was right or wrong but rather it was worried about the blatant violations of human rights, as contained in the bill.
“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 organise, the right to freedom from discrimination and the right to human dignity,” it said.
It has, therefore, called on Parliament to reject the bill, adding that “it has no place in our constitutional democratic Republic”.
The group 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.
Source: Daniel Adu Darko/Peacefmonline.com
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