Substantive and Procedural Rights Will Be Argued 

(Kampala) Having concluded all the required final conferencing of the consolidated petitions  challenging the constitutionality of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, Uganda’s Constitutional Court will  hear arguments on the substantive questions at issue on Monday, December 18, 2023.  

“The Convening For Equality welcomes the expediency of the Judiciary in hearing the challenge.  After so much violence and devastation brought about by this wrong-headed law, we are grateful  that this day has finally come for the justices to hear the many ways the Anti-Homosexuality Act  blatantly violates Uganda’s constitution,” said Frank Mugisha, of Sexual Minorities Uganda, and  Convening For Equality (CFE) Co-convener. “It should have no place in Uganda’s law books.” 

Arguments in court will center on the ways in which the new law violates substantive rights to  equality, dignity, privacy, freedom of speech, association and health as well as freedom from  discrimination. Lawyers challenging the law will also argue that the parliamentary process lacked  the opportunity for meaningful or adequate public participation as required by the constitution,  among other procedural issues.  

UNAIDS has been permitted to file an amicus brief, presenting the ways in which the law harms  Uganda’s ability to effectively fight HIV with evidence-based, well-established best public health  practices. Two civil society groups and four international pharmaceutical corporations also  petitioned to file amicus briefs but the Justices denied them that opportunity earlier in the week.  The Court admitted Ugandan pastors Stephen Langa and Martin Ssempa to be respondents. The  two have ties to international hate groups. Uganda’s Equal Opportunities Commission tribunal  recently found Ssempa to have discriminated against and stigmatized people living with HIV/AIDS  and banned him from further statements or social media posts.  

President Museveni signed Anti-Homosexuality Act into law in May 2023. Since then, activists have  documented how real or perceived LGBTQ people in Uganda have been tortured, beaten, arrested,  faced physical, sexual and psychological violence, including forced anal exams at the orders of  police, as well as evictions and blackmail, loss of employment and health service disruptions. 

Today, the Convening For Equality also released Eleven Frequently Asked Questions about  Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, which lays out many aspects of the law, how it has been  implemented and how various actors have responded since it came into force.  

“The evidence of the discrimination and violence that has been wrought by government employees  and private citizens since the law came into force is overwhelming,” said Clare Byarugaba, of  Chapter Four Uganda and Convening For Equality (CFE) Co-convener “It cannot and should not be  allowed to stand. Nullification of this law is the only way forward.” 

For more Information, contact 

CFE Co-Conveners; 

Frank Mugisha, Sexual Minorities Uganda, in Kampala at +256772616062 

Clare Byarugaba, Chapter Four Uganda, in Kampala at +256774068663  

Richard Lusimbo, Uganda Key Populations Consortium, in Kampala at +256782612972

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