In response to the recent anti-LGBT law in Uganda, a coalition of campaigners decided to challenge the draconian law and file a petition with Uganda’s Constitutional Court in Kampala. They believe to have a strong case to help lift the ban on LGBT relations in Uganda. The Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CSCHRCL) is made up of 50 organization which deal with cases of discrimination.
“Judges are human beings. But we are pretty sure we have made a compelling case for the nullification of the law and the judges will exercise their judicial minds to the law as presented before them [rather than pay attention to] public sentiments,” Secretary of the Uganda Law Society, Nicholas Opiyo, told IPS.
The petition aims to address the severe discrimination of the LGBT community, their constitutional right to freedom and dignity. The creators of the petition also intend to forbid media and other organizations from publishing information about LGBT individuals such as the “Uganda’s 200 top homos” list published in Ugandan tabloid.
“As a citizen, as a legislator, as a human rights lawyer, I owe it to the people of Uganda to stand up and challenge it. Of course there’s a big political risk, this society is very homophobic and they’ll brand you all manner of names just because you stood up to speak for the minority. But in life you take a risk even waking up in your bed every day” said one of the petitioners, Fox Odoi, a ruling party MP.
The petitioners believe that regardless of the outcome of the petition, they will continue to seek equality in Uganda.
“We shall appeal to the Supreme Court. Uganda is [also] a signatory to the law that establishes the East African Community, there is a court and we shall explore that option. We shall keep fighting,” said Odoi.