Uganda’s government is battling to stop a legal challenge that could threaten the new anti-gay law.
A number of gay rights activists and politicians believe the Anti-Homosexuality Act contravenes the Constitution and deserves to be repealed.
But the government has denied the activists’ claims and want the Constitutional Court to throw out the case.
‘When the rant of gay activists is done, the world will move on,’ a government spokesman Ofwondo Opondo has said.
‘Those opposed to anti-gay bill should read article 91 Uganda constitution.’
Article 91 refers to parliament’s power to legislate and to create laws for the betterment of Ugandan society.
The petitioners believe by regulating the behavior of gay and lesbian Ugandans while not regulating the behavior of heterosexuals, the Act violates article 21 of the constitution.
Article 21 ‘guarantees’ equality and freedom of discrimination.
One section of the Act, which bans persons ‘promoting’ homosexuality, is also said to violate freedom of expression, freedom of conscience and freedom of association.
While the government agrees the Act discriminates against gay people, they believe the punishment of life imprisonment fits the crime of ‘aggravated homosexuality’.
The government believes the activists will be unable to provide proof that the law contravenes the right to equality and freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment guaranteed under the constitution.
The Constitutional Court has yet to set a date for a hearing of the case.