Target: Constitutional Court of Uganda
Goal: Support the invalidation of unconstitutional and homophobic law
On February 24, 2014, a severe anti-gay law was passed in Uganda, threatening sentencing as harsh as life imprisonment for engaging in homosexual sex. Thankfully, Ugandan courts invalidated the law in July, citing a lack of quorum at the time the law was voted on. While equal rights supporters and activists see this as a huge step forward, there is still fear of retaliation and future attempts to revive the law.
As well as ridiculous sentencing for consensual adult sex, the homophobic legislation illegalized “attempted homosexuality” and “promotion of homosexuality,” effectively making it a criminal act to in any way intimate non-heterosexual orientation. An outpouring of international outrage led to a number of governments limiting the amount of aid sent to Uganda until the law’s repeal. The court’s decision to revoke the law may encourage an increase in aid for Uganda.
Sadly, the most recent draconian law threatening Ugandan rights was not the only one. Colonial-era legislation still criminalizes acts “against the order of nature,” allowing for the continued senseless harassment of homosexuals.
Though welcomed, the ruling misses an opportunity to discuss the core issues surrounding the law; namely its unconstitutional discrimination against certain Ugandans. The anti-gay law was instead struck down by the constitutional court because it was illegally passed. The speaker of parliament took a vote on the bill without the required quorum, meaning the law was never valid to begin with.
Whatever the reason for scrapping the law, the ruling was a huge win for Ugandans and for equal rights worldwide. Sign this petition in support of the dismantling of another horrible and homophobic legislation.
Dear Members of the Constitutional Court of Uganda,
The anti-gay legislation passed on February 24, 2014, violates the rights of consenting adults, promotes violence against homosexuals and unconstitutionally discriminates against certain Ugandan citizens. As well as the impacts of sanctioned homophobia on the Ugandan homosexual population, the law incurs the restriction and redirecting of necessary funding from governments around the world, which Uganda desperately needs.
Five months after the enactment of the law, the Ugandan Constitutional Court ruled that the law was invalid due to a lack of quorum. Despite the ruling, many threats still exist for the country’s homosexuals. A colonial-era law still threatens citizens on charges of activities “against the order of nature.”
Much more needs to be done to ensure the safety and respect of Ugandan citizens, but I applaud and support the ruling against this destructive anti-gay law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Shaun Curry/AFP/Getty Images via The Guardian
Original petition: Repeal Anti-Gay Law that Threatens Life in Prison