In the wake of the major victory for public health and human rights that the nullification last week of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act represents, we’re reading the petition that got the law to court, responses from Uganda, and updates from other corners.
Constitutional Petition NO. 08 of 2014 – In light of the Ugandan court’s ruling that the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014 was unconstitutional because Parliament lacked a quorum when it was passed, the petition that brought the law to court is essential reading. The petition, brought by Ugandan health, human rights and law advocates enumerates the ways that the law, which carried life in prison for “aggravated homosexuality,” and seven years for supporting gay individuals, was overly broad and violated the country’s own constitutional guarantees as well as international conventions on equality and privacy, freedom from cruel and degrading punishment, and more. The court’s decision, in the face of those arguments, to focus on a matter of parliamentary procedure, remains, amidst the good news, telling and troubling.
A Precarious End To Uganda’s Anti-Gay Act – This on-the-ground perspective from Nigeria-based writer Alexis Okeowo describes the scenes in and out of the courtroom, and tells of life for gay and lesbian activists before, during and in the likely aftermath of the law.
Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera: I am no longer criminal, today we have made history” – This post by Dan Moshenberg quotes the tweet sent by activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagasera summing up the impact of the Uganda law, and its dismissal, on her, notes the struggle ahead, but also the courage and conviction that went into overturning the law, and making it possible to say, “Some days the news is good.”
Ugandan Lawmakers Move for Swift Vote to Restore Anti-Homosexuality Act – And this is why remembering the joy of victory as well as the perseverance it required will be important. Members of Uganda’s parliament “burst into song” at a press conference announcing their intention to reinstate the act, according to this update Monday from the Buzzfeed’s J. Lester Feder. He goes into the details of what lawmakers would have to do to reinstate the law, the obstacles they would face, and their determination to overcome them to make sure, in the words of the law’s sponsor that “homosexuality is not a human right here in Uganda.”
Transgender Group in Kenya Wins Historic Court Battle – A little more than a week before the celebrated Uganda high court ruling on the Anti-Homosexuality Act, a Judge in Kenya ruled that the nation’s board regulating nongovernment organizations had been “unfair, unreasonable, unjustified and in breach of rules of natural justice” when it refused to register Transgender Education and Advocacy, an organization providing services and information to trangender individuals. This is good news for public health as well as human rights, with data showing that while confronting barriers to critical care and information, transgender women face risks up to 94 percent higher than that of other adults of acquiring HIV.