Uganda: Court strikes down ‘illegally passed’ anti-gay law

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Uganda’s notorious anti-gay law has been struck down by a court, who ruled that it was passed illegally.

President Yoweri Museveni signed the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill in February. The law calls for repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison and makes it a criminal offence not to report someone for being gay.

However, the country’s Constitutional Court today struck down the law, finding that the speaker of parliament acted illegally by moving ahead with a vote on the law despite at least three lawmakers objecting to a lack of quorum.

The court announced the ruling this morning to a crowd, with activists who support striking down the law cheering loudly upon hearing it was effectively “null and void.”

Ugandan journalist Andrew M Mwenda tweeted that the law was “as dead as a door nail” following the ruling.

The US recently announced sanctions against Uganda, following the implementation of the law.

EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton described the move as “draconian”.

Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said it was “an abhorrent backwards step for human rights”.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was “deeply saddened and disappointed”. 

More to follow.