Lawyer Akoto Ampaw, a member of the bloc of academics and legal practitioners opposed to the anti-LGBTQ+ bill has said the position of religious institutions on the matter is a deviation of what in his view is taught by their respective faiths.
According to him, at the heart of the concept of Christianity and Islam is the show of love and compassion to sinners in order to draw them to God and that the position of the two religions with respect to the bill is a betrayal of same.
He also stated that with their wide reach, the religious institutions are better equipped to positively influence the behavior of homosexuals in the country, so for them to relinquish that responsibility to the government is an indication of failure.
Akoto Ampaw said that he does not believe that religious beliefs has got anything to do with the ongoing debate about the bill.
He alleged that the eighteen members who have come out to oppose the bill have been subjected to threats and ‘curses’ by religious groups.
“We have become targets. People are swearing that God will punish us and that we will die and so on and so forth. Why do we want to have a society where we are promoting hate for our neighbour? Is that Christian or Islamic?
“My point here is that, first of all this is not a religious matter. Secondly, even for those who want to push the religious agenda, Christ did not come for the righteous, he came for the sinners. So even from that perspective, there must be humility and compassion for the sinner.
“Our point here is that for the religious groups to be pushing for the passing of this law is a clear admission of their failure. Because if they were focused on the work of their religion as they should … They are more focused and spread all over Ghana. If you go to a village there about ten different churches or mosques. “
He also dismissed assertions that his position on the matter is influenced by some monetary gains from pro-LGBTQ+ institutions.
“Anybody who really knows me knows that I am not a pimp. I do not take money to carry out other people’s agendas. 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.
“It is ridiculous for people to be suggesting that we have gone and collected money in order to promote this fight,” he said.
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).