Uganda Laws on Homosexuality Set Aside for Now

Published: August 12, 2014

NEW YORK, August 8 (C-Fam) The constitutional court of Uganda has ruled the laws against certain predatory homosexual activity is unconstitutional, ending however briefly the international conflict the laws have aroused in the United States and other industrialized nations.

The law was struck down on procedural grounds, the court determining the law was enacted without the requisite number of lawmakers present when it was passed. The constitutional court is not the highest court in Uganda and the Attorney General is already talking about appealing the decision to Uganda’s Supreme Court. The Uganda Parliament could also reenact the law with the required number of Parliamentarians present.

The law called for lengthy prison sentences for, among other things, deliberately infecting another person with the AIDs virus and the rape of an underage person. Commentators in the west have spread the false rumor that gays were being imprisoned simply for “being gay.”

International pressure against Uganda for the law has been intense. Donor countries, including the United States, had recently frozen $120 million in aid to cash-strapped Uganda in protest of the law, this even though Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world and is also one of the United States’ key military allies in the region against Islamic terrorists in Sudan, South Somalia, and the Central African Republic. 

Many are critical that the Obama administration has made LGBT one of America’s foremost foreign policy agenda items, even though the world seems to be melting down in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Israel and elsewhere. The Administration, charged with dithering in all these crisis areas, reiterated the LGBT policy this week as African leaders met in Washington DC for the largest such gathering in history.

Critics point out that at a time when Christians around the world are being hunted, tortured and murdered, the Obama administration seems not to care, indeed barely mentions the issue. This is particularly vexing to Christians since they comprise 77% of the adult population of the US while gays comprise only 1.6%, according to new numbers released by the Center for Disease Control. That would be 187,000,000 Christians whose fellow religionists are being killed by terrorists, while gays number only 3.8 million, half as many as Methodists, one of the smallest denominations in the US.

The president of Uganda has said that one of the reasons he signed the law was because of the intense pressure brought by the rich countries against Uganda. No less than Foreign Policy Magazine covered this issue a few months ago, citing not just President Obama but pundits on leftist television channels like Rachel Madow on MSNBC. The President of Uganda and others saw this as a new form of colonialism, in this case sexual colonialism; the rich west trying to impose a new morality that Ugandans find offensive. Uganda has a long history of resisting gay initiatives. In fact, the Catholic Church around the world celebrates a feast day for Charles Lwanga and his companions, young African men who resisted the homosexual overtures of the King and were martyred for their resistance.

The Ugandans have also insisted the law has been deliberately misinterpreted by western commentators who often say the law makes it illegal simply for “being gay.” In fact, all provisions of the law have to do with actions and not “being.” Based on this plea, Sweden recently returned as a donor to Uganda.

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