Uganda: Activists Appeal Shock Anti-Homosexuality Law Ruling


Twenty-two individuals have filed an appeal with Uganda’s Supreme Court against the Constitutional Court’s recent refusal to strike down the country’s vile Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA).

The Supreme Court is the highest appeal court in Uganda. The petitioners include academics, activists such as Sexual Minorities Uganda Executive Director Frank Mugisha and Jacqueline Kasha Nabagesara, as well as MP Fox Odoi-Oywelowo.

They argue that the Constitutional Court erred in ruling that the AHA was as a whole constitutional. The petitioners are challenging 17 aspects of the court’s decision, including its reliance on “inadmissible evidence on recruitment of children into homosexuality”.

The Constitutional Court of Uganda shocked the world on 3 April by refusing to strike down the AHA. It only annulled a few provisions that sought to jail landlords for renting to LGBTIQ+ individuals, those who fail to report acts of homosexuality to the police, as well as those who infect someone with a deadly disease through a homosexual act.

Thanks to the devastating ruling , the law will remain one of the most repressive anti-LGBTIQ+ laws in the world.

It imposes life imprisonment for engaging in homosexual acts and the death penalty for instances of “aggravated” homosexuality, while also criminalising anyone who advocates for LGBTIQ+ rights.

Since the law was enacted in May 2023, there have been hundreds of reported human rights violations targeting LGBTIQ+ people, including arrests, evictions, forced anal examinations, torture, and violations of the right to equality and freedom from discrimination.

In November, US President Joe Biden announced an end to Uganda’s African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) preferential trading status due to its “gross violations of internationally recognised human rights.”

Local activists have also called for “further restrictions on donor funding for Uganda,” asserting that “no donor should be funding anti-LGBTQ+ hate and human rights violations.” 

The law has been condemned by international human rights groups, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, and numerous governments and health bodies.

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