Uganda’s Homosexuality Bill Struck Down

Posted by Kate Barth on August 4, 2014

On Friday, August 1, 2014, the Constitutional Court of Uganda struck down the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 which had been passed by the Ugandan parliament last December.  Although the act which was signed into law omitted the death penalty clause which had earned it the moniker “Kill the Gays Bill” in western media, the act still carried harsh penalties for “aggravated homosexuality”, in certain cases punishable by life imprisonment.

The five-judge panel invalidated the law on technical grounds, ruling that parliament had passed the act without the proper quorum. While LGBTI activists may be relieved to have such a law off of the books in Uganda, the fact that the judges did not invalidate the law based on its the substantive content  makes it worrisomely easy for the Ugandan parliament to repass the act by observing the technical formalities. David Bahati, the parliamentarian who introduced the act, has also indicated that Attorney General will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Kate Barth is a Legal Officer at Lawyers Collective.