Skip to main content

Uganda court strikes down anti-gay law

By Radina Gigova and Jason Hanna, CNN
updated 10:50 AM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
Ugandan anti-gay activists led by pastor Martin Ssempa (center) speak to the press in Kampala on August 1, 2014.
Ugandan anti-gay activists led by pastor Martin Ssempa (center) speak to the press in Kampala on August 1, 2014.

(CNN) -- Uganda's Constitutional Court on Friday struck down a new law that made some homosexual acts punishable by life in prison, asserting that legislative technicalities weren't properly observed when it passed, a government spokesman said.

Anti-gay roots run deep in Uganda

The law, which Parliament passed in December and President Yoweri Museveni signed in February, was struck down "because it was passed without the required quorum in Parliament," government spokesman Oswono Opondo said.

The law called for life in prison for "aggravated homosexuality." This includes acts in which one person is infected with HIV, "serial offenders" and sex with minors, according to Amnesty International.

It also allowed the imprisonment of those who counsel or reach out to gays and lesbians.

READ: U.S. reduces funding to Uganda over harsh anti-gay laws

READ: Ugandan tabloid prints list of 'homosexuals'

READ: Amanpour blog: Some gay Ugandans would rather die than live under new law

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:57 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 7:38 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 8:24 AM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
It's a very big challenge but NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan thinks it can be done.
updated 7:39 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
CNN's Atika Shubert explains how the most recent ISIS video differs from the other previous hostage execution videos.
updated 12:38 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
updated 12:20 PM EST, Sun November 16, 2014
Volunteer fighters in eastern Ukraine dig down just 800 meters from the front line.
updated 12:29 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
updated 7:04 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT