Uganda’s Constitutional Court upholds strict anti-gay laws and imposes the death penalty in some cases

A black man wears a mask that looks like a rainbow flag

Uganda’s Constitutional Court upholds a law that imposes the death penalty for “severe homosexuality.”

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed the law last May. The controversial law against homosexuality is considered one of the toughest in the world.

Activists had taken the law to court, but the judges did not agree to repeal it. The court announced that the law was passed by Parliament and does not violate the constitution.

The anti-LGBTQ law, among other things, provides for the death penalty for certain same-sex acts, known as “severe homosexuality.” Other crimes lead to long prison sentences.

Homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda under a colonial-era law that criminalized sexual activity deemed “against the order of nature.” The penalty for this crime is life imprisonment.

However, the court ruled that members of homosexual groups should not be discriminated against when seeking medication.

“The law protects Uganda from negative foreign influence”

Ugandan Parliament Speaker Anita Among welcomed the verdict.

– The result proves that the government, parliament, executive and judiciary have the common goal of protecting Uganda from negative foreign influence, Among told AFP.

Homosexuality is criminalized in more than 30 of Africa’s 54 countries. Some Africans view it as a behavior imported from abroad rather than a sexual orientation.

The law has met with strong criticism abroad

Opponents of the law say it has unleashed a spate of abuses against LGBT people, including torture, rape, arrests and evictions.

The law, passed in May last year, drew strong criticism from the LGBTQ community, human rights activists, the United Nations and Western powers. The law is viewed as a systematic violation of rights.

The United States, which had threatened to cut aid and investment aid in Uganda, imposed visa bans on some officials in December over human rights abuses.

The World Bank announced in August that it was suspending new loans to Uganda under the law, which “fundamentally contradicts the values ​​the bank purports to stand for.”

Sources: AP, AFP, Reuters

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