UGANDA'S contentious anti-gay law has been struck down by the
country's Constitutional Court, just six months after it was
On Friday last week, the Court ruled that the law had been
passed by MPs when parliament was not quorate - fewer than
one-third of MPs were present.
The petition to annul the law was brought by a number of
activists, journalists, MPs, and academics. The director of Sexual
Minorities Uganda, Frank Mugisha, said: "We welcome this ruling and
Uganda's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community can
celebrate a small victory against oppression."
He warned, however, that the law had not been dismissed because
of its provisions, but only on a technicality. The
Anti-Homosexuality Act banned the "promotion" of homosexuality and
would punish "aggravated homosexuality" with life imprisonment.
Homosexual acts have been illegal in Uganda since it was a British
The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Revd Stanley
Ntagali, said on Monday that he was disappointed that the law had
been struck down.
"I appeal to all God-fearing people and all Ugandans to remain
committed to the support against homosexuality," he said. "The
'court of public opinion' has clearly indicated its support for the
Act, and we urge Parliament to consider voting again on the Bill
with the proper quorum in place."
The Religion News Service has reported that the MP who authored
the original Bill, David Bahati, has said that the Ugandan
government will appeal to the Supreme Court over the decision to
There was widespread criticism after Uganda's president of 28
years, Yoweri Museveni, signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act into law
in February (News,
Both the Archbishop of York, who was born in Uganda, and the
Emeritus Archbishop of Cape Town, Dr Desmond Tutu, have said that
there was no justification for imprisoning people because of their