Proposed law in Uganda could be used to shut down pro-gay charities

ug_1755091cA new law has been drafted in Uganda that could be used to ban all pro-gay charities and LGBT rights groups.

The country’s new Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) bill would give the government the ability to approve, inspect, and dissolve all community groups and NGOs based on a number of criteria – as well as to impose harsh fines.

One clause would require charities to “not engage in any activity which is contrary to the dignity of the people of Uganda” – which proponents fear could be used to clamp down on gay rights groups.

It would also allow groups to be disbanded “where it is in the public interest to refuse to register the organisation, or for any other reason that the Board may deem relevant.” Continue reading

New Anti-Gay Legislation Drafted In Uganda

And it’s even more draconian than the Anti-Homosexuality Act, struck down earlier this year.

la-fg-wn-obama-antigay-law-uganda-20140216-002A committee, comprising leading members of Uganda’s ruling party, has prepared a new draft of legislation targeting LGBT people, according to Nicholas Opiyo, a human rights lawyer who obtained a leaked copy of the proposal.

The legislation will replace the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which was struck down on technical grounds in August following a global outcry.

Opiyo, who is one of the lawyers for the legal team that successfully challenged the Anti-Homosexuality Act, said his sources “in cabinet and on the committee [working on the bill] have confirmed that this is the real draft bill” and that it has been sent to the office of President Yoweri Museveni and newly named Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda.

The new bill, dated Oct. 29, is called the Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill of 2014. Opiyo said, “It appears even worse, even more draconian than the law. It is intended to replace by going into much greater detail about what activities are criminalized.” Continue reading

Ugandan Court Quashes The Country’s Anti-Gay Law

ugUganda’s constitutional court on Friday overturned tough new anti-gay laws that had been branded draconian and “abominable” by rights groups, saying they had been wrongly passed by parliament.

The law is “null and void,” presiding judge Steven Kavuma told the court, saying the process had contravened the constitution, as it has been passed in parliament in December without the necessary quorum of lawmakers.

Cheering gay rights activists celebrated the ruling, but supporters of the law said they would appeal at the Supreme Court.

“Justice prevailed, we won,” said lawyer Nicholas Opiyo, who led the challenge in the constitutional court. Continue reading