“I am an independent minded person; I do not parrot the President’s views” - Akoto Ampaw

Akoto Ampaw, lawyer for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the 2020 election petition, has denied assertions that he represents the views of the President in the ongoing LGBTQI debate.

Akoto Ampaw

Mr. Ampaw, who is one of the proponents against the anti-LGBTQI bill said he is an independent-minded person and his views are not that of Nana Akufo-Addo.

In an interview on GTV, he said his opposition to the anti-LGBTQI bill has nothing to with the President.

“I do not represent the President of Ghana. I’m his lawyer alright but in terms of my views on pubic issues I do not parrot the views of the President.”

“There are policies that he may pursue that I do not agree with. I’m an independent person. I’m 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’s not how I have lived my life”, he added.

“Let’s be clear, we are not advocating as a group for same-sex marriage. Many of the people who seek to rouse public discontent against us are saying that we are promoting same-sex marriage. If you read our Memorandum, we do not say anywhere that we support same-sex marriage. We do not support any violation of their rights because they are human beings.”

The bill, titled “The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021”, prescribes severe sanctions against various activities of the LGBT+ community.

Lawyer Akoto Ampaw said the Bill is in direct conflict with a number of constitutionally protected fundamental freedoms and human rights.

“Every person, not even every Ghanaian citizen, is entitled to the enjoyment of the fundamental human rights guaranteed under the Constitution. And our position as a group is not that there are no limitations to those rights. Almost all the rights under the Constitution have limitations but the limitations raise a very high bar, you must be able to demonstrate that the restriction is necessary first, and secondly, the limitation is reasonable.”

“The case is being made that the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians do not like gays and therefore there should be a law against them. We are treading a very slippery road because if the view of Ghanaians is that anything that the overwhelming majority do not like should be criminalised, then it means the Constitution has no place,” he said.

He disclosed that democracy evolves both the Majority rule and the protection of the Minority.

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