Decisive Hearings Set for Petitions Challenging Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act

KAMPALA, (UG)-The Constitutional Court in Kampala has scheduled December 18, 2023, as the start date for hearings in 23 consolidated petitions challenging the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023.A panel of five justices to preside over the case will be named tomorrow.

Justice Geoffrey Kiryabwire has set the hearing date for the petitions, which seek, among other things, to strike down a constitutional provision criminalizing consensual sex among adults, as termed by activists.

The petitioners include West Budama MP Fox Odoi, Uganda’s Ambassador to South Africa Kintu Nyango, veteran journalist Andrew Mwenda, Makerere University Law Professors Sylvia Tamale and Busingye Kabumba, and several civil society organizations.

The petitions further argue that the Anti-Homosexuality Act infringes on several constitutional articles guaranteeing personal freedoms and dignity, as well as hindering the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday this week, the Court will hear an application filed by Pastor Martin Ssempa who is seeking to join the Attorney General in defending the anti-gay law.

Bishop James Lubega Bbale, on the other hand, is requesting to be joined as a necessary party to challenge the Anti-Homosexuality Act for discriminating against “God’s people.”Additionally, UNAIDS seeks to be joined as a friend of the court to provide relevant information demonstrating why the law should be overturned due to its detrimental impact on HIV/AIDS prevention efforts.