Decision made: the five-member panel of judges of the Ugandan Constitutional Court
Image: dpa

Although the law is controversial internationally and in the country itself, it remains in place: anyone who takes part in homosexual acts faces severe penalties.

Dhe Constitutional Court of Uganda has dismissed a lawsuit against the internationally heavily criticized anti-LGBTQ law. The “Anti-Homosexuality Law 2023” passed last May will neither be repealed nor suspended, the court in Kampala said on Wednesday. According to the law, “participation in homosexual acts” carries a risk of life imprisonment, while “serious homosexuality” carries a death penalty Even “attempts” at homosexual acts can be punished with up to ten years in prison.

Human rights activists, legal scholars and members of parliament from the ruling party had sued the law. The plaintiffs see the law as a violation of human rights as well as the right to protection from discrimination and the right to privacy guaranteed by Uganda's constitution.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda under Sections 145 and 148 of the 1950 Penal Code. Until the Penal Code Amendment Act 2000, only homosexual acts between men were punishable. Since 2000, homosexual acts between women have also been punishable. After 2005, the recognition of same-sex couples was also banned.

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