Ugandan court rejects bid to nullify anti-gay law that provides for the death penalty in some cases


Kampala: Ugandan constitutional Court On Wednesday upheld an anti-gay law that allows death penalty For “increased homosexuality,
President Yoweri Museveni This bill was signed into law in May last year. The law has been supported by many in the East African country but widely condemned rights activist And others abroad.
Activists contested the law in court, but judges refused to overturn it in their ruling, saying it was legally passed by Parliament and does not violate the Constitution.
Deputy Chief Justice Richard Butira said, “We refuse to strike down the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 in its entirety; nor will we grant a permanent injunction against its enforcement.”
However, the court ruled that members of the gay community should not be discriminated against when seeking medication.
“They should be accepted medically and culturally,” Butira said.
The petitioners, led by lawyer Nicholas Opio, had given 14 grounds for its dismissal.
The law defines “aggravated homosexuality” as cases of homosexual relations involving minors and other categories of vulnerable people, or when the perpetrator is infected with HIV. A suspect convicted of “aggravated attempt at homosexuality” may face up to 14 years in prison, and the crime of “attempted homosexuality” may lead to up to 10 years in prison.
Homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda under colonial-era law, which considered sexual activity a crime “against the order of nature”. The punishment for that crime is life imprisonment.
The United Nations expressed deep concern when the new law was passed, with the UN Human Rights Office calling it “a recipe for systematic violations of the rights” of LGBTQ+ people and others.
US President Joe Biden called the law “a tragic violation of universal human rights – one that the Ugandan people do not deserve, and one that jeopardizes vital economic growth prospects for the entire country.”
The World Bank halted new loans to Uganda, saying that additional measures were necessary to ensure projects conformed to the Bank's environmental and social standards.
Homosexuality is criminalized in more than 30 of Africa's 54 countries. Some Africans see it as a behavior imported from abroad rather than as a sexual orientation.

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