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Uganda's 'Jail The Gays' Bill Is No More

Aug 01, 2014

  • Today, the Constitutional Court of East Africa have ruled that the law to punish homosexuals with a minimum sentence of seven years in prison was passed illegally.  The AP reported that, ‘the measure is illegal because it was passed during a parliamentary session that lacked a quorum.’
    The law, brought into effect back in February by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, is now that it’s null an void and finally acts such as ‘attempted homosexuality’, ‘aggravated homosexuality’ and ‘promoting homosexuality’ are no longer punishable by the threat of a lifelong prison sentence.

    Members of the gay community celebrating the news NPR- Isaac Kasamani

    Now that the law has been invalidated, it doesn’t mean that the gay community are safe from persecution from anti-gay groups or that a real conversation has started about the quality of the judicial process or the merit of any kind of anti-gay law.  But it does mean that from today, thousands of Ugandan’s will no longer fear a prison cell for being who they are.

    Martin Ssempa and followers ghettoradio

    A prominent anti-gay activist, Martin Ssempa, told Buzzfeed, “This decision is a legal travesty. It is an insult to all family culture loving people in Uganda.  Is there possibility that the president traveling to Washington next week could be the reason why this case was hurried at lightening speed?… We just wonder if indeed our country is independent, and we want to ask the parliament to investigate the independence of the judiciary.”
    It looks like there’s still a long way for the Ugandan legal system to go but at the very least, prison won’t be a reality for the gay community there anymore.

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