A court in Uganda has thrown out a controversial law that punished acts of homosexuality harshly, including with life in prison.
The AP reports the decision was a technical one. The court ruled that there was no quorum when Parliament met to pass the law.
The AP adds:
“‘The speaker was obliged to ensure that there was 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.”
“Ugandan lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, an attorney for the activists, said the ruling ‘upholds the rule of law and constitutionalism in Uganda.'”
As NPR’s Gregory Warner reported back in December, the law was criticized by western leaders, including President Obama.
As we reported, some European countries suspended assistance to Uganda over the law.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill made it a crime to “promote” homosexuality, which could have meant offering HIV counseling.
Reuters reports the judge’s ruling “can be challenged through an appeals process.”