Activists to petition court after being overlooked in anti-gay law
- Written by OUR REPORTER
Dr Frank Mugisha, a leading advocate for LGBTQ rights, has slammed the way parliament evaded him and other activists before hurriedly passing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 on March 21.
The bill criminalizes all forms of homosexuality and even has a provision for a death sentence. The bill and the controversial manner in which it was passed has attracted both praise and condemnation from various sections of the public, with several human rights groups vowing to petition the Constitutional court if President Museveni assents to it.
Mugisha faults the legal and parliamentary affairs committee for deliberately failing to accord him a chance to present his views on the bill in spite of a prior notice.
On March 10, Mugisha wrote to the clerk of parliament requesting to render his views on the bill to the committee.
“As a longtime advocate for human rights, I know several people that will be grossly affected by the bill if made law. I, therefore, seek audience with the committee since public consultations are at the heart of constitutional democracies,” his letter reads in part.
“I think that my participation in the proceedings will profoundly add value to the discussions parliament is to hold on this bill. This is because I bring a wealth of expertise and experience honed through many years of advocacy for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, inter-sex, and queer Ugandans. This puts me in a good place to discuss the practice and theory of gender which is a central question that the legislator who introduced this bill eluded. It is only fair that activists like myself are given a hearing, even a perfunctory one.”
However, the committee did not hear him and presented the bill report on the floor of parliament for debate on March 21 before passing it that very day. According to Mugisha, there was an unnecessary rush to pass the bill yet the committee knew well that it is going to affect a big section of society.
“We will be left with no choice but to petition the Constitutional court if the president assents to it,” he said.
In the age limit case: Mabirizi Kiwanuka & Others V Attorney General, Supreme court justice Lillian Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza emphasized the essence of public consultations before passing the bill.
“In a constitutional making process, public consultation involves direct engagement with the public or representative groups or other factions of society. Public participation in Constitution making is considered to be essential for the legitimacy and effectiveness of the process. A representative, open process with direct public input is, on balance, good for setting the course for a democratic state.”
“The reason for engaging the public is that people are the custodians of democracy and should be involved at all stages of Constitution making. The process must empower the people rather than inhibit them by creating opportunities and avenues for individual effective participation. (My emphasis).”
Asuman Basalirwa, Bugiri Municipality MP, presented the private member's bill for first reading on March 9, 2023, and within a record 12 days, it was tabled and passed into law.
However, several legal experts have argued that there are several procedural loopholes that the committee did not address, including the 45 days rule which was not met. Ideally, committees are expected to conclude any bills before them within 45 days from the day of the first reading of the bill.
What’s more, Rule No. 33 under the arrangement of rules gives the committee 14 days of sitting after winding up consultations before tabling the report to the House. However, the bill was tabled just a day after the last session.
The bill is replete with many vulnerabilities to the extent that it would collapse against any form of legal challenge. Most unfortunately, the intended beneficiaries would easily be left helpless.
The bill should have focused only on aggravated homosexuality and built all the other items around it. Our biggest problem as parents is the hideous, aggressive, deadly, insidious and ransomized vice that leaves our children's lives ruined. It is not two consenting, adult deviants that is the real problem here.
Why don't you and LGBT community that forms the big section of society come out and protest the bill on the streets across Uganda.
Except Sabre Rattling through the courts and International Media for a living (Meal Card); who is Dr Frank Mugisha whom the Ugandan parliament should never evade when passing into law any Bill?
Otherwise, who does not know that the anus is/was designed by God for sh*ting and not sex. Except perverse human wrong practice what is there to defend as homosexuals human right?
The anti homosexual law is to save these psycho sex perverts from bursting/rupturing their rear-ends and becoming health nuisances. Else, Dr. Frank Mugisha is a sadist, who encourages the psycho homosexuals to bust/rupture their exhaust sic rear ends.
In other words Kyokufente, by coming out on the Streets to protest, Ugandans will get to know who these sick people are and isolate them into Butabika Psychiatry Hospital for speedy treatment.