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 4:01 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
The U.S. has promised to supply and train "acceptable" rebels in Syria to counter ISIS. But who are they and are can the strategy work?
updated 8:39 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Branded an "extremist" by China's state-run media, Joshua Wong isn't even old enough to drive.
updated 2:55 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised political pundits with his rapid rise to power. CNN meets the man behind the enigma.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Liverpool's Italian forward Mario Balotelli reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Liverpool and Ludogorets Razgrad at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool on September 16, 2014.
British police launched an investigation into abusive tweets sent to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
updated 7:44 PM EDT, Sun September 21, 2014
A woman who was texting her husband before he was killed reflects on the Westgate attack.
updated 6:49 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
updated 11:54 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
The real secret to a faster commute has been with us all along -- the bus.
updated 9:16 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
13 brands retained their Top 20 status from last year, according to an annual survey.
updated 11:49 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Think your new tattoo is cool? Look at how our ancestors did it and think again.
updated 7:00 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 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