Ugandan court nullifies anti-gay law
Posted on Aug 02 2014 | IANS
Kampala, Aug 1 : Gay activists in Uganda Friday won a court battle in which they had sued the government for passing the controversial anti-gay bill with no quorum in parliament.
A panel of five judges of the Constitutional Court led by acting Chief Justice Steven Kavuma ruled that the passing of the anti-gay bill in parliament without the required quorum was unconstitutional, Xinhua reported.
"The act that was enacted without quorum was an illegality which tainted the constitution of Uganda," the judges ruled.
The gay activists premised their argument on the country's Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi cautioning Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga that there was no quorum in parliament at the time of the seating.
The speaker ignored the warning and passed the bill which the country's President Yoweri Museveni later assented into law, attracting condemnation from Western countries.
Western countries cut aid to Uganda saying the enactment of the law was a violation of the rights of sexual minorities.
Before the ruling, outside the court, there was a demonstration by anti-gay activists carrying placards that read, "We support our parliament", "Bahati, Kadaga are our heroes". Others read, "We don't support sodomy", "We don't support homosexuality".
The gay activists, among others, want the court to issue permanent orders staying the operationalisation of the Anti-Homosexuality Act.
According to the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014, a person who purports to contract a marriage with another person of the same sex, commits the offence of homosexuality and shall be liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for life.