Lawyer Robert Rutaro Joins Legal Battle Against Anti-Homosexuality Act

Lawyer Robert Rutaro from Elgon and Company Advocates has joined a group of 18 petitioners who are challenging the Anti-Homosexuality Act in the Constitutional Court.

The law which targets lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, among others, imposes capital punishments for same-sex relations and engaging children below 18 years into homosexuality. A death penalty now awaits those found guilty of aggravated homosexuality and a 20-year jail term for those promoting” homosexuality.

Rutaro argues that a law targeting a particular section of society; the sexual minorities is null and void for being discriminative. 

He is also challenging the death penalty and fines provided for the offence of aggravated homosexuality under the law.  He says that the punishments are harsh, excessive, high handed and unconstitutional.

Rutaro adds that section 6 of the Anti-Homosexuality Act violates the adult person’s right to freedom of choice and liberties protected under the Constitution. He now wants the Constitutional Court to Nullify the sections and award him the costs of the petition and any other reliefs that the Court finds worthy.

In his petition, Rutaro has sued the Attorney General as the only respondent and indicates that he will be represented by lawyers from Harimwomugasho and Anita Advocates (AHA Advocates) during the hearing of this petition.

Rutaro’s petition is the third against the Act which was assented to by President Yoweri Museveni on May 26. The first petition against the same law was filed by eight activists on Monday, May 29, 2023, and a Civil Society Organization, Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum HRAPF through its Executive Director Dr Adrian Jjuuko.

A day later six LGBTIQ activists filed a second petition together with Journalist Andrew Mwenda, and two legislators Fox Odoi Oywelowo and Paul Buchyana Kwizera.

Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka has not yet made any defence to these three petitions filed against the government for which he is the official legal representative.

In 2014 the Constitutional Court struck down the Anti-Homosexuality Act on procedural grounds after finding that the Parliament had passed it without the required quorum.

Prior to the nullification, some Western governments had suspended some aid, imposed visa restrictions and curtailed security cooperation with the Museveni-led government.

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