A private legal practitioner Mr. Akoto Ampaw has said the way and manner the anti-gay bill has been designed indicates the extremism of the mind frame that produced it.
He is totally against the bill and wants it abandoned.
“The fact that the bill goes to that extent of criminalising somebody who is an intersex or criminalising somebody who is asexual, this is a meaningless project, shows the extremism of the mind frame that produced that bill,” he said on TV3’s Key Points with Dzifa Bampoh on Saturday, October 9.
He further said the current debate on homosexuals in Ghana is not about religious beliefs or numbers.
“First of all, I want to make the point clear that this debate is not about religious beliefs.
“Secondly, this debate is not about numbers. It is not lining up how many people support gays -30million, how many people are against gay – 2million, that is not the issue.
“The fundamental issue has to do with our constitution and rights. That is the basic issue that we have to address.”
He added “It is a bit gratifying that just recently the Majority leader in Parliament said that the matter will not be discussed on the basis of religious beliefs. I think that is a major step forward if that is how parliament is going to address this matter. It is a constitutional matter.”
His comments come after religious bodies including the Ghana Catholic Bishop Conference have said that want homosexuality to be illegal in Ghana.
The Bishops described the practice as an abomination on the basis of scriptures in the Holy Bible.
“As a Church, we want this abominable practice made illegal in our country… The Bible, which is foundational to Christian beliefs and practices, condemns the practice,”
“Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder…
“The Church rejects the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behaviour of homosexual persons is always and very compulsive and, therefore, they should not be blamed for their homosexual acts,” a statement they issued said.
It added “Nevertheless, according to the Church’s understanding of human rights, the rights of homosexuals as persons do not include the right of a man to marry a man or of a woman to marry a woman. For the Church, this is morally wrong and goes against God’s purpose for marriage.
"We should also point out that the European Court for Human Rights has ruled that same-sex “marriages” are not considered a human right, making it clear that homosexual partnerships do not, in fact, equal marriages between a man and a woman. The ruling was announced 9th June 2016 in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.”
Meanwhile, the dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Professor Kofi Abotsi has said the debates for gay rights or criminalization in Ghana are unwinnable.
According to him, both sides are digging in and positions are becoming irrational and untenable.
“The debates for gay rights or criminalisation are unwinnable! Both sides are digging in and positions are becoming irrational & untenable and this is crowding out good reasons and circumspection as lawmakers ponder the bill & its intents!” he said in a tweet on Thursday, October 7.
The controversial anti-gay bill which is currently before parliament has already divided opinion in the Ghanaian public discourse.
While some, particularly the religious and traditional groupings, have supported the Bill and are hopeful of its passing, others say it could incur the wrath of the international community against Ghana.
In relation to this matter, one of the sponsors of the bill, Ningo Prampram lawmaker, Sam George had earlier described Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kwame Karikari as a hypocrite following his submission on the bill.
He said if he is asked to score Professor Karikari on his submission, he would give him an F.
Prof Karikari had said the bill which Sam George and some of his colleague legislators are promoting is dangerous because it seeks to promote hate for homosexuals in the country.
In the view of Prof Karikari, gays and lesbians are human beings and deserve to be respected and protected like any other person.
To that end, he said, any law that seeks to create problems for this group should be rejected.
He said this while speaking on the First Take with Dzifa Bampoh on 3FM on Monday October 4.
He said he and a few of his colleagues who are fighting for the rights of homosexuals to be respected in Ghana are going to hold a public forum to debate this subject.
“Hopefully, the media may also want to pick up the debate, debate them so that the public will instantly get to know the views that we hold and the views that the proponents of what we considered to be a dangerous bill also hold.
“We think we live in a democracy and we must be grateful to God that we live in a democracy so that whatever parliament, the executive or any branch of government does will be openly discussed and people can therefore take their decisions and then the lawmakers and the executives can also take some wisdom from the public debate.
“We know that most societies have a prejudice against homosexuality, lesbianism, and these other social practices. We are not at all surprised that the overwhelming majority have prejudiced or even hate this small minority of people in society. We have no problem with that. What we are saying is this.
“This law is setting up the minority. Our constitution does not discriminate about humans beings unless the proponents of this bill, unless the 95 percent who say they don’t like homosexuality, we want them to say that homosexuals, lesbians are not human beings. Are they human beings also are they not human beings?
“If they are human beings and they are human beings then we think that they are protected by the constitution so any law that is made to arouse, promote engineer and mobilize hate against that minority is against the rights of those minority people and should not be passed.”
Source: 3 news
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