In defence of these “disgusting and unnatural”Posted: 10 March, 2014 | Author: AfricLaw | Filed under: Benjamin Ng’aru | Tags: African (Banjul) Charter, all persons, Anti-Homosexuality Act, constitution, discrimination, equality of all persons, freedom from inhumane treatment, gays, homosexual acts, homosexuality, human rights, International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Kill the Gays Bill, lesbians, life sentence, morality, Museveni, right to dignity, right to privacy, sexual orientation, Social and Cultural Rights, stigmatisation, Toonen v Australia, transgender, Uganda, un-African, United Nations, Universal Declaration for Human Rights, violence | 8 Comments
Author: Benjamin Ng’aru
Legal Assistant, Local Authorities Pensions Trust; Volunteer Programmes Assistant, Legal Exchange Centre, Nairobi, Kenya
On Monday 25 February 2014, Uganda’s long serving president Yoweri Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014 (previously referred to as Kill the Gays Bill”). The Long Title thereof provides that this “Act [is intended] to prohibit any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex; prohibit the promotion or recognition of such relations and to provide for other related matters.” Museveni has also, on record, called homosexuals “disgusting and unnatural” persons. The legislation has since received widespread condemnation from human rights organisations and leaders across the globe.
Whereas homosexuality was, since the colonial era, outlawed with the introduction of the British colonial rule and justice system, the new legislation is an all time low. Section 2(2) of the Act provides for a mandatory life sentence for persons convicted of “homosexual acts”. Section 1 of the Act has a wide margin of what constitutes “homosexual acts” such as “the touching of another’s breast, vagina, penis or anus, … however slight …. with any part of the body or through anything”.