Constitutional Court Sets date For Anti-homosexuality Petition Hearing

NEWS-The Constitutional Court has set December 11, 2023, as the date to start hearing four petitions challenging the legality of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023.

This was after the petitioners agreed to consolidate all four petitions and 19 applications that were filed by different individuals and groups including West Budama MP Fox Odoi, Uganda’s Ambassador to South Africa Kintu Nyango, Veteran Journalist Andrew Mwenda, Makerere University Law professors; Sylvia Tamale, Busingye Kabumba and several civil society organizations.Sitting as a single judge of the Constitutional Court yesterday, Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire agreed with the Attorney General’s submission to have all the petitions consolidated.

Hon. Odoi, a former legal counsel to President Museveni told the court that they will go with the court’s guidance and have the matter consolidated.However, the court held that before the hearing of the main petition, it will have to first deal with an application by Pastor Martin Ssempa who wants to join the Attorney General to defend the Anti-homosexuality law.Among some of the grounds for the petition, the complainants contend that the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 alters a 2014 Constitutional Court decision which nullified a similar law and is therefore inconsistent with Article 92 of the Constitution.

The petitioners contend that the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 was passed within a record period of six days instead of the 45-day period provided for by the rules of Parliament.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 prescribes tough penalties for various offences including participating in promotion, facilitation and failure to report acts of homosexuality. Penalties range from death for aggravated homosexuality to imprisonment not exceeding 20 years.