Uganda’s Constitutional Court rejects petition against anti-gay law

Uganda’s Constitutional Court rejects
Hajarah Nalwadda/AP Photo]

The Constitutional Court of Uganda has turned down a request to overturn a statute that has been deemed one of the world’s most discriminatory towards homosexuals.

On Wednesday, the court ruled that parts of the law were “inconsistent with the right to health, privacy, and freedom of religion,” and thus infringed the right to health; nonetheless, the court did not strike down or halt the law.

We deny to annul the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 in its entirety, neither will we grant a permanent injunction against its execution’, remarked Justice Richard Buteera, leader of the court and deputy chief justice of Uganda, in a historic verdict.

The appeal against the law had widespread public support, but the five-member court dismissed it unanimously, according to NTV, a Ugandan television station.

The Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum in Uganda, on the other hand, expressed concern that the ruling “unfortunately will fuel human rights violations” against Uganda’s LGBT community.

Another activist who voiced his disapproval of the court’s decision was 25-year-old Steven Kabuye, who heads the LGBTQ advocacy group Coloured Voice Truth to LGBTQ. Kabuye said that the ruling will put homosexual people in Uganda in even more danger.

Consensual same-sex encounters are now severely punished under the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, which was passed in May. The penalty for this offence include life imprisonment and the definition of “aggravated homosexuality” as a capital offence.

In a rebellious move, the government of President Yoweri Museveni has accused the West of trying to force homosexuality on Africa.

Two Kampala law professors, lawmakers from the ruling party, and human rights activists took their case to the Constitutional Court, claiming that the law goes against both Uganda’s Constitutional guarantees of basic rights and its international human rights obligations.

More than 30 of Africa’s 54 nations have made homosexuality a crime, and this verdict comes as part of a larger pushback against LGBTQ rights across the continent.


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