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Uganda Court Ruling Fails LGBTQ People

By Charlotte Robinson, April 03, 2024

Uganda's Constitutional Court invalidated only a few provisions of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 while leaving the rest intact. The Court categorically declined to nullify the Act in its entirety or issue a permanent injunction. This decision falls short of the necessary action to protect the rights & lives of our LGBTQ community in Uganda. Maria Sjödin Outright International Executive Director stated, "LGBTQ people in Uganda deserve full protection & equal rights under the law & the partial invalidation of the law is not enough. The Constitutional Court's ruling, which relegates queer people to second-class citizenship, must not be the last word. It is now incumbent upon Uganda's parliament to repeal this law. The authorities must engage in a meaningful dialogue with LGBTQ organizations & activists & work towards creating an inclusive society that respects & upholds the rights of all people in Uganda." The court's decision comes after the petitioners argued that the law was enacted without sufficient public involvement & violated constitutional rights & freedoms. The limited ruling finds unconstitutional sections of the law that criminalize the owner of premises being used for the purposes of homosexuality or anyone who knowingly allows the use of such premises (sections 9 and 11(2)(d). It also eliminates the duty to report (section 14), which turned everyone in Uganda into an arm of the police. The ruling does not address other provisions including the death penalty for some consensual same-gender acts, the prohibition on freedom of expression related to the rights of LGBTQ persons, the ban on human rights organizations that “normalize” sexual & gender diversity & the ban on funding such organizations. 

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