Ugandan Court Declares Anti-Gay Law 'Null and Void'
Measure was passed without a quorum, court rules it illegal
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 1, 2014 9:08 AM CDT
A photo of Uganda's president hangs on the wall, left, as Judge Stephen Kavuma reads the verdict at Uganda’s Constitutional court.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Vassie)

(Newser) – A Ugandan court today invalidated an anti-gay bill signed into law earlier this year, saying the measure is illegal because it was passed during a parliamentary session that lacked a quorum. The panel of five judges on the East African country's Constitutional Court said the speaker of parliament acted illegally when she allowed a vote on the measure despite at least three objections—including from the country's prime minister—over a lack of a quorum when the bill was passed on Dec. 20. Lawyers and activists challenged the anti-gay law after it was enacted in February on the grounds that it was illegally passed and that it violated rights guaranteed in Uganda's constitution.

"The speaker was obliged to ensure that there was a quorum," the court said in its ruling. "We come to the conclusion that she acted illegally." The ruling was made before a courtroom packed with Ugandans opposing or supporting the measure. Activists erupted in loud cheers after the court ruled the law is now "null and void." A colonial-era law that criminalizes sex acts "against the order of nature" still remains in effect in Uganda, allowing for the continued arrests of alleged homosexual offenders, according to a Ugandan lawyer who was among the petitioners. Lawmakers will likely also try to reintroduce a new anti-gay measure, he said.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 46 comments
Guest
Aug 2, 2014 10:07 AM CDT
Great idea. We have to inject death row inmates 15 times in order to kill them,. Now we can give them just one shot of ebola. Bravo!
JackNelsonSteward
Aug 1, 2014 12:07 PM CDT
OK, now, hold on, because this isn't a victory for human rights or sanity. This is a ruling on procedure. The court said nothing, at least not as it was cited in this rewrite, about the law itself, just that it was improperly passed. Same kind of objection our SCOTUS just cited in its ruling on Obama's "recess appointments" to the NLRB. They didn't object to the people or the appointments, just to the fact that they happened while the Senate was busily pretending it WAS in session. All that's necessary is to submit the legislation when a quorum IS present.
$106378292
Aug 1, 2014 11:19 AM CDT
The American homosexual agenda continues to spread. Luckily, many places outside USA and Europe are resisting the homosexual takeover of their media and popular culture.