Friday, 1 August 2014

Uganda Court Overturns Anti-Gay Law

Uganda Court Overturns Anti-Gay Law
Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni speaks during the London Summit on Family Planning organized by the UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, in central London Wednesday July 11, 2012. (Photo Credit: AP/Carl Court, Pool)
On Friday, August 1, 2014 a Ugandan court annulled the bill signed into law earlier this year prohibiting homosexual activities in the country. According to reports, the court said the process through which the lw was passed was illegal and therefore unconstitutional.
The judgement, which was done by a panel of 5 judges said the speaker of the country’s parliament acted illegally by allowing a vote to measure despite at least 3 objections raised.
AP reports:
“The speaker was obliged to ensure that there was quorum,” the court said in its ruling. “We come to the conclusion that she acted illegally.”
The ruling was made before a courtroom packed with Ugandans opposing or supporting the measure. Activists erupted in loud cheers after the court ruled the law is now “null and void.”
Ugandan lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, an attorney for the activists, said the ruling “upholds the rule of law and constitutionalism in Uganda.”
Kosiya Kasibayo, a state attorney, said a decision had not been made on whether to appeal the ruling in the Supreme Court.
The anti-gay measure provided for jail terms of up to life for those convicted of engaging in gay sex. It also allowed lengthy jail terms for those convicted of the offenses of “attempted homosexuality” as well as “promotion of homosexuality.”
Although the legislation has wide support in Uganda, it has been condemned in the West and rights groups have described it as draconian. The U.S., which wants the law repealed, has withheld or redirected funding to some Ugandan institutions accused of involvement in rights abuses.
The law was passed by lawmakers in December and enacted in February by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who said he wanted to deter Western groups from promoting homosexuality among African children.

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