Uganda Strikes Down Anti-Gay Law

Uganda Strikes Down Anti-Gay Law

An anti-homosexuality law in Uganda has been struck down by the nation’s constitutional court. The law had instituted penalties for gay relationships that included sentences as long as life in prison for “aggravated homosexuality” and jail sentences of seven years for “aiding and abetting homosexuality.”

After the initial law was implemented in February, many western nations condemned it, and some of them withdrew aid to Uganda. Nicholas Opio, a lawyer for petitioners who claimed the law violated fundamental rights, said, “I can confirm the anti-homosexuality law has been struck down. The judge said there were irregularities in the process of its enactment and also there was no quorum in parliament.”

The court ruling can be appealed.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the UN was thrilled with the decision of the court:

The secretary-general welcomes the decision by the constitutional court of Uganda to annul the country’s anti-homosexuality act as a victory for the rule of law. He pays tribute to all those who contributed to this step forward, particularly the human rights defenders in Uganda who spoke out, at times incurring great personal risk.