Uganda to rule on legality of anti-gay law

2014-08-01 10:40
Ugandan human rights and gay rights activists stand at the constitutional court in Kampala. (Isaac Kasamani, AFP)

Ugandan human rights and gay rights activists stand at the constitutional court in Kampala. (Isaac Kasamani, AFP)

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Kampala - A Ugandan court is expected to rule on Friday on a petition by activists who say the East African country's new anti-gay measure is invalid because it was passed during a parliamentary session that lacked a quorum.

If the panel of judges on Uganda's Constitutional Court agrees, the whole law could be thrown away. If no, then the judges will continue to hear the activists' argument that the law is unconstitutional.

The anti-gay measure provides for jail terms of up to life for those convicted of engaging in gay sex. It also allows lengthy jails terms for those convicted of the offenses of "attempted homosexuality" as well as "promotion of homosexuality".

Although the legislation has wide support in Uganda, it has been condemned in the West and rights groups have described it as draconian. The US, which wants the law repealed, has withheld or redirected funding to some Ugandan institutions accused of involvement in rights abuses.

The law was passed by lawmakers in December and enacted in February by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who said he wanted to deter Western groups from promoting homosexuality among African children.

Read more on:    yoweri museveni  |  uganda  |  gay rights

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