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Uganda annuls new anti-gay law

Activists at Uganda's first Pride parade
Activists attend Uganda's first Pride parade at the Entebbe Botanical Gardens in Kampala, Uganda. © EPA/Rachel Adams

It came into force in February 2014 but now Uganda’s draconian anti-gay law has been declared ‘null and void’.

While it was already illegal to be gay in Uganda, this new law extended punishments for gay marriage, ‘promoting homosexuality’, and ‘aiding and abetting homosexuality’.

A victory against oppression

The judges ruled in favour of the activists who argued that parliament acted illegally when it passed the Bill in December as not enough MPs were in the room to vote.

More than 25,000 Amnesty supporters in the UK emailed President Museveni in late 2013, asking him not to make this law. 

‘Even though Uganda’s abominable Anti-Homosexuality Act was scrapped on the basis of a technicality, it is a significant victory for Ugandan activists who have campaigned against this law.’
Sarah Jackson, Deputy Regional Director at Amnesty

State-sponsored discrimination

Despite this victory, Uganda’s Penal Code continues to criminalise ‘carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature’.

Since the Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill was passed in February, we documented a sharp increase in arbitrary arrests, police abuse and extortion against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people after the law was enacted.

Many lost their jobs, were left homeless or were effectively forced to flee the country.

We’re calling for real improvements in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people in Uganda, who have been trapped in a vicious circle of discrimination, threats, abuse and injustice for many years.