Ugandan Court Strikes Down Anti-Gay Bill
By Alex Panisch
In a ruling today, a court in Uganda has annulled the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act (a.k.a the “Kill the Gays bill). Five judges found the law invalid because it was passed by Parliament without a quorum. While this may seem like cause for celebration, the court took issue with how the bill was passed and not with the law in and of itself. Therefore, the law could make its way back on the books in the future.
Though homosexual acts were already illegal in Uganda, the draconian law banned the “promotion of homosexuality” and allowed for life sentences in prison for “aggravated homosexuality.” The bill also for the first time included lesbians. An earlier draft of the bill made it illegal not to turn in gay people, but this clause was taken out.
It’s unclear if this ruling will have any effect on American aid to the East African nation. In June, the Obama administration announced it would cut back on aid funding because of the law. Ugandan government has not indicated if it will appeal.