“The speaker was obliged to ensure that there was a quorum,” the court said in its ruling. “We come to the conclusion that she acted illegally.”The ruling was made before a courtroom packed with Ugandans opposing or supporting the measure. Activists erupted in loud cheers after the court ruled the law is now “null and void.”
The anti-gay measure provided for jail terms of up to life for those convicted of engaging in gay sex. It also allowed lengthy jail terms for those convicted of the offenses of “attempted homosexuality” as well as “promotion of homosexuality.”
Frank Mugisha, a Ugandan gay leader, said the ruling Friday was a “step forward” for gay rights even though he was concerned about possible retaliation.
Ugandan lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, an attorney for the activists, said the ruling “upholds the rule of law and constitutionalism in Uganda.”
Lawyers and activists challenged the anti-gay law after it was enacted in February on the grounds that it was illegally passed and that it violated certain rights guaranteed in Uganda’s constitution.