Anti-Gay Law Struck Down in Uganda

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni signed an anti-homosexuality bill into law in Entebbe on Feb. 24, 2014. (CNS photo/James Akena, Reuters)

Uganda’s gay rights supporters caught a glimpse of hope on Aug. 1 when the country’s constitutional court ruled that the December 2013 parliamentary vote to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was illegal because of the below-quorum attendance. The new law, hailed by the Ugandan president as a defense of African and family values, brought resounding criticism from political and religious leaders around the globe. In place of the originally intended death penalty, the law prescribed life imprisonment for those found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” and up to three years for those who fail to report offenders. Gay rights activists warn, however, that homosexual acts are still illegal in Uganda and that the repeal of this law on grounds of illegal voting practices may not postpone its revival for long. On Aug. 13 the attorney general announced that the government has dropped plans to appeal the ruling, and President Museveni has made clear that the law is “not a priority.”

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