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Anti-gay law annulled by Uganda’s Constitutional Court

By Godfrey Olukya
Posted on Friday, 1 August 2014 15:55

The five judges at the Constitutional Court, led by acting Chief Justice, Steven Kavuma unanimously ruled that the bill was passed without the requisite quorum and was therefore, illegal.

Before the court ruling, we were living like slaves

“The legislation that was passed in parliament was null and void because there were not enough lawmakers to vote on the bill,” the judges said in their ruling.

A majority of the country’s legislators supported the bill during parliamentary debates, but failed to vote in in its favour, as most absented themselves.

The law imposed a life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality” and it also banned the promotion of homosexuality.

Uganda faced international condemnation after President Yoweri Museveni assented to the bill.

Donor partners, including Scandinavian countries, the United Kingdom and the United States, among others withheld aid from Uganda, in protest at what they described as a draconian law.

But anti-gay campaigners, led by Pastor Martin Ssempa who played a pivotal role in pushing for the law, have vowed to appeal against the ruling in the Supreme Court.

“We are definitely going to appeal against the ruling in the Supreme Court,” he charged. “We cannot allow homosexuality in our society.”

Human rights activists have welcomed the court’s decision.

“Before the court ruling, we were living like slaves. We are now free,” Sex Minorities Uganda programme director, Julian Peppe said.

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