News / Africa

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Judge Stephen Kavuma reads the verdict at Uganda’s Constitutional court, invalidating an anti-gay bill signed into law earlier this year, saying it was illegally passed and is therefore unconstitutional, Aug.1, 2014.
Judge Stephen Kavuma reads the verdict at Uganda’s Constitutional court, invalidating an anti-gay bill signed into law earlier this year, saying it was illegally passed and is therefore unconstitutional, Aug.1, 2014.
Gabe Joselow

Uganda's Constitutional Court has overturned a controversial anti-homosexuality law that made same sex acts punishable by up to life in prison. While the law was annulled because of procedural errors in its passing, rights groups still hailed the decision as a boost for gay rights in the country.
 
The court said its decision was based on the fact that the law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum.
 
Human Rights Watch LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) senior researcher Neela Ghoshal told VOA Friday's ruling is a victory for gay rights, even though the court did not address the ethical aspects of the law.
 
“The court hasn't had an opportunity to rule on the real substance matter of the case. But the fact is everybody is breathing a sigh of relief in Uganda right now because the law can no longer be enforced from today,” said Ghoshal.
 
Leading Ugandan gay rights activist Frank Mugisha summed up his feelings about the ruling in a single tweet saying, “Breaking news, I am officially legal.”
 
Ghoshal points out existing laws on the books in Uganda banning homosexuality will remain in place while the state decides whether to reintroduce the act in parliament or to appeal Friday's decision at the Supreme Court.
 
Still, she says the annulment of the law gives gay rights advocates in Uganda legal leverage to fight a reported surge in discrimination -- including evictions, jobs lost and denial of medical treatment since it was passed.
 
“There is space for people who are victims of social pressure, victims of violence to feel that they can take their complaints somewhere and hopefully obtain some access to justice,” she said.
 
At the time of signing, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said homosexuals should be “punished harshly” in order to defend society from “disorientation.”
 
Uganda faced a massive backlash from rights groups and the international community. Several countries, including the United States, reduced or redirected aid to Uganda.
 
In a statement released July 7, the Ugandan government said the law has been “misinterpreted” by development partners as intending to discriminate against homosexuals, saying instead the law meant to curb the “promotion of homosexuality, especially among children.”

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Chilaka, Ibekwem from: Mbaise
August 02, 2014 7:28 AM
This Judge Stephen Kavuma is an atheist.Did he not read from the bible that God created them male and female.If his father had married a man.Who would have taken his mother in to conceived him.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid