Uganda, once known as the one of the worst places in the world for LGBTQ people, has now announced that homosexuality is no longer a crime. The standing anti-gay law was deemed illegal by a Ugandan court, which invalidated the law on Friday.
The court, in its ruling, noted that the now illegal anti-homosexuality bill had been approved despite lacking the necessary review of members in the deliberative assembly. Five judges of the Constitutional Court in Uganda found that the speaker illegally allowed the vote to turn the bill into a law on December 20. It was reported that at least three objections, including one from the Ugandan prime minister, were ignored in the eventual passing of the law that has caused many gay Ugandans to flee and seek asylum.
According to the anti-homosexuality bill, anyone convicted under the law could face time in prison up to a life sentence. Gay or oral sex, aggravated homosexuality, sex with a minor, same-sex marriage and sex with HIV+ people warranted a lifetime in prison. People could face seven years in jail for attempting homosexuality, while a $40,700 fine or five to seven years in jail was the sentence for those attempting to promote homosexuality.
Business or NGOs involved in promoting homosexuality were not spared either. Jail or cancelled registrations waited for those involved with homosexuality in Uganda. The sentence did carry a sense of protection for children and could be seen by some as a protective measure against the spread of HIV/AIDS.