UN chief applauds Uganda court for scrapping anti-gay law

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(AFP) – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon applauded Uganda’s constitutional court Friday after it quashed anti-gay legislation, describing the decision as a “step forward” and a “victory for the rule of law.”

But Ban stressed that more should be done in Uganda to decriminalize same-sex relationships and fight discrimination against lesbians, gays and transgender persons.

The top court nullified legislation signed by long-serving President Yoweri Museveni that made homosexuality a crime punishable by life in prison, citing a lack of quorum of lawmakers for its adoption.

Ban paid tribute to “all those who contributed to this step forward, particularly the human rights defenders in Uganda who spoke out, at times incurring great personal risk,” a statement from his spokesman said.

Homophobia is widespread in Uganda, where American-style evangelical Christianity is on the rise.

Gay men and women face frequent harassment and threats of violence.

 

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