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Constitutional Court Upholds Most Provisions of the Anti-Homosexuality Act

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Today, the Constitutional Court issued its verdict on petitions No. 14, 15, 16 & 85 of 2023, affirming the constitutionality of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, with exceptions in four areas.

Led by Deputy Chief Justice Hon. Justice Buteera, the justices ruled in favor of the Act, stating it aligns with Uganda’s constitution, except in limited aspects.

Following President Museveni’s signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act on May 26, 2023, 22 private citizens and human rights activists lodged petitions challenging 17 sections of the Act, alleging violations of constitutional and international human rights standards.

The nullified sections included provisions criminalizing the letting of premises for homosexual activities, failure to report such acts to the police, and engaging in acts leading to the contraction of terminal illnesses.

Opposing the petitions were the Attorney General of Uganda, Pastor Martin Sempa, Eng. Stephen Langa, and the Family Life Network Limited, with additional input from the secretariat of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Journalist Andrew Mwenda, a petitioner, announced plans to appeal to the Supreme Court to safeguard homosexual rights, expressing confidence in the judiciary to uphold those rights.

Mwenda pointed out the lack of evidence presented by the defense regarding alleged recruitment of children into homosexuality, despite the government’s intelligence agencies.

“we are going to the Supreme Court, and I have full confidence  that the judges there will stand above our cultural prejudices and protect the rights of homosexuals as to leave their lives as they wish,” Mwenda asserted. 

Transgender male Lubega Luthera expressed resilience in the face of the law, affirming the community’s determination to fight for their rights despite its passage.

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