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 9:31 AM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
A terminally ill woman who plans to take her own life checks off the last item.
updated 9:15 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Armed with Kalashnikovs and chanting for the dead comrades, women are among ISIS' most feared enemies. They are fighting for their families -- and now they are getting U.S. help.
updated 8:46 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
Lere Mgayiya put his best foot forward and set up a shoe-shine firm after his career plans fell flat.
updated 1:28 AM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
One Chinese drone manufacturer wants to take away the warmongering stigma of "drones."
updated 11:12 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Sketcher Luis Simoes is traveling the world -- slowly. And he's packed his sketchbook.
updated 4:43 PM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
European states help North Korea's brutal treatment of its people by allowing luxury goods like cars and cognacs to evade sanctions, two experts say.
updated 11:20 AM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Groping, lewd comments, and that's not the worst of it.
updated 9:33 PM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
British hostage John Cantlie appears from the battle city of Kobani.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
A captured fighter tells CNN's Ivan Watson: "They gave us drugs... that made you go to battle."
updated 11:45 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
updated 7:06 AM EDT, Thu October 30, 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