Health Living

Court upholds Anti-gay law, strikes out four sections

 anti-LGBTQ law

KAMPALA, April 3 (Reuters) – Uganda’s constitutional court on Wednesday refused to annul or suspend an anti-LGBTQ law that includes the death penalty for certain same-sex acts, but voided some provisions it said are inconsistent with certain fundamental human rights.
The legislation, adopted in May last year, is among the world’s harshest anti-gay laws and has drawn condemnation from rights campaigners and sanctions from Western nations.
Activists say the law has unleashed a torrent of abuse against LGBTQ people, including torture, rape, arrest and eviction.
“We decline to nullify the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 in its entirety, neither will we grant a permanent injunction against its enforcement,” said lead judge Richard Buteera, reading the judgment on behalf of his four colleagues.
However, the court struck down certain sections it said were “inconsistent with right to health, privacy and freedom of religion”.
The portions of the act that were voided criminalised the letting of premises for use for homosexual acts and failure to report homosexual acts.
Under the Anti-Homosexuality Act, citizens had an obligation to report anyone they suspected of engaging in homosexuality. This requirement violated individual rights, the court found.
The government will now have to remove these sections from the law, Edward Ssemambo, a human rights lawyer representing the petitioners, told Reuters.
When the law was enacted in May 2023 the World Bank halted new lending to Uganda and the United States announced visa and travel restrictions against Ugandan officials.
The legislation imposes penalties of up to life imprisonment for consensual same-sex relations and contains provisions that make “aggravated homosexuality” an offence punishable by death.
It also bans promotion of homosexuality and violations are punishable by up to 20 years in jail.


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