Constitutional Court of Uganda Upholds Anti Homesexual Law

In a landmark decision, the Constitutional Court in Uganda has ruled that the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 passed into law last year will not be nullified.

Human Rights Activists, a couple of law professors and some legislators had petitioned the Court to strike down the entire law saying that it went against the basic rights found in the Ugandan Constitution. The petitioners added that the law also violated the International Human Rights Laws Uganda was a signatory to.

The five Justices of the Court early on Wednesday reached a unanimous decision to uphold the law which has widespread support in the country. However, their decision struck down some sections [specifically Section 3(2)C, 9, 11(2)d and 14 of the Anti Homosexuality Act 2023] that they felt to be “inconsistent with right to health, privacy and freedom of religion”.

When the Act became law last year, there was a huge backlash against Uganda by Western Governments. The United States has threatened to cut aid to Uganda and to exclude it from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). According to the US Department of State’s website, the United States’ total assistance budget for Uganda exceeds $950 million every year.

The European Union has also threatened Uganda with sanctions, calling the law “shameful” while the World Bank is said to be reconsidering their relationship with Uganda by pausing any future loans to the country until the law is repealed.

Last year in June after passing the law, President Yoweri Museveni pointed out that the Anti Homosexuality Act 2023 outlaws the recruitment of non homesexuals into the practice of homosexuality, the exhibiting and promotion of sexual orientation, and the actual performing of homosexual acts on another person. He also added that the law would not would not stop medical care access for homosexuals because there was no provision preventing a health worker from treating any person.

The government has generally defied the West, with the Parliament Speaker Anita Among saying that “all arms of government are working together to protect Uganda against negative foreign influence”.

Most Ugandans are conservative and Christian, so the ruling and the law itself are very much supported by the majority of the people.


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