The Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum-HRAPF organization and 10 people have petitioned the Constitutional Court challenging the Anti-homosexuality law 2023 signed by President Museveni yesterday May 29, 2023.
Other petitioners include two Makerere University senior law dons Prof. Sylvia Tamale and Dr. Kabumba Busingye, Budama North East member of parliament-MP Fox Odoi, veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda of the independent news magazine, LGBTQIA+ / human rights activists Dr. Frank Mugisha, Solome Nakaweesi Kimbugwe, Kasha Jacqueline, Richard Smith Lusimbo, Eric Ndawula and Williams Apako.
They are challenging the new law for falling short of the required procedure of consulting the public on such a crucial matter, and Speaker Anita Among’s conduct during the process of debating and passing the Bill in Parliament on May 2,2023. The petition filed against the Attorney General has been received by court’s registry which is yet to summon him for defence.
The group states in its petition, that the new law infringes on several articles of the Constitution that relate to personal freedoms and dignity including, freedom of association, expression, and right to health.
They further argue that Anti-homosexuality Act 2023 also hampers the fight against HIV/ AIDs because gay people who are categorized as mostly affected with HIV will go into hiding, fail to access medication, and as a result, will transmit the virus to others hence all efforts the country has geared towards the fight of the killer disease will go to waste.
They claim the movers of this ‘bad law’ led by Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa hide under protecting children but to them, there are enough laws to protect children against defilers and the country doesn’t need this law that discriminates and criminalizes consensual same sex relationship.
They now want the Constitutional Court to annul the entire law so that Ugandans can fully enjoy their inherent rights.
EXPERTS & DONORS JOINT STATEMENT: Uganda’s progress on its HIV / AIDS response is now in grave jeopardy. The Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 will obstruct health education and the outreach that can help end AIDS as a public health threat. The stigma & discrimination associated with the passage of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 has already led to reduced access to prevention as well as treatment services. By leaders of the Global Fund (Peter Sands), The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS-UNAIDS (Winnie Byanyima) and the U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief-PEPFAR. https://twitter.com/RiseNewsUganda/status/1663253743175860227?s=20
According to US President Joe Biden, his administration would also consider slapping sanctions on Uganda and restricting the entry into the United States of people engaging in human rights abuses or corruption. https://twitter.com/RiseNewsUganda/status/1663255223417045000?s=20
“The enactment of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 is a tragic violation of universal human rights—one that is not worthy of the Ugandan people, and one that jeopardizes the prospects of critical economic growth for the entire country,” he added.
President Joe Biden has asked the National Security Council to evaluate the effects of the enactment of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act and reevaluate annual $1 billion aid to Uganda.