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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Completely shut the door on LGBTQI – Pentecost Chairman to Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo during a church servicePresident Akufo-Addo during a church service

The Chairman of Church of Pentecost, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, has asked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to immediately shut the door to activities of members of the LGBTQI+ community in the country.

Citing the President’s assurance that same-sex marriage will never happen under his watch, Apostle Nyamekye argued the necessary action required now is the passage of the anti LGBTQI+ bill currently before parliament.

Speaking during the presentation of memos in support of the bill to the constitutional, legal and parliamentary Affairs Committee, the Pentecost Chairman demanded immediate action to safeguard the future of the country.

Other leaders from the Methodist Church, Apostolic Church, and Christian Council took turns to address the gathering as they presented their own memos in support of the bill

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The deputy clerk to Ghana’s Parliament in Charge of Administration and Finance Eric Owusu-Mensah who received the memoranda disclosed that over 100 inputs from across the world have been received already.

He assured the committee will consider the memos in putting together a report to the plenary

Speaking to the media after the Presentation for the first time on the anti LGBTQI+ bill, minority leader Haruna Iddrisu rubbished arguments put out in a memo by some 15 individuals led by Lawyer Akoto Ampaw.

According to the Tamale South MP contrary to claims of the opponents of the anti-gay bill, LGBTQI+ activities cannot be legally be described as human rights.

The anti-gay bill currently before Parliament and sponsored by some eight MPs seeks to criminalise and impose jail terms on lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and queers (LGBTQ+) and people who promote such activities in the country.

But a group made up of academics, lawyers, researchers, civil society organisations (CSOs) and human rights activists has kicked against it. They describe the bill as a flagrant violation of the 1992 Constitution, as it seeks to curtail freedom of expression and the media, the right to assemble and the right to join any association of one’s choice.

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.

Members of the group opposing the anti-gay bill are; 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.

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