Activists celebrate striking down of Uganda’s anti-gay law
Activists have celebrated a court ruling invalidating Uganda’s anti-gay law.
Earlier today, the country’s Constitutional Court struck down the law, finding that the speaker of parliament acted illegally by moving ahead with a vote on the law despite at least three lawmakers objecting to a lack of quorum.
Though the law was nullified due to the “illegal” passage of the bill, the court did not declare the law inherently unconstitional.
British campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “This is a major victory for gay campaigners and their straight allies in Uganda. They fought this law and won, against all odds. Congratulations to the Ugandan gay and straight civil society coalition that brought this legal challenge.
“Human rights and the rule of law have prevailed against a homophobic, tyrannical parliament and president.
“The judges have shown commendable independence and integrity by upholding the law, despite majority government and public support for anti-gay legislation.
“It demonstrates that President Museveni may have nobbled many judges but not these one.”
Dr. Dimitrina Petrova of the Equal Rights Trust said: “As we celebrate this victory, it is important to remember that LGBT people in Uganda continue to suffer profound discrimination and gross inequality, not least through the criminalisation of same-sex sexual activity. We will continue to call for greater protection and respect for the rights of LGBT in Uganda, notwithstanding today’s decision.”
Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda added: “We welcome this ruling and Uganda’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community can celebrate a small victory against oppression.
“However, we are disappointed that the case was not heard on its true merits. The truth is that, not only is the Anti-Homosexuality Act persecutory, it is also unconstitutional and illegitimate.
“This law has no place in our society, which values dignity, privacy and equality for all our citizens. Until the Act has been dismissed on the substance of our arguments, we cannot rest easy.”