One Equal World

Testing New Law: First Uganda ‘Gay Sex’ Trial

Posted on: May 15, 2014

The first Ugandan trial since the adoption of tough anti-gay laws recently took place, with two men accused of having homosexual sex before a Ugandan court this week. Kim Mukisa and Jackson Mukasa, who appeared in the court in the capital Kampala, are both expected to plead not guilty.

Kim Mukisa, 24 is a businessman who reportedly identifies himself as gay and Jackson Mukasa, 19, is his alleged trans partner. The two men face a potential life sentence in jail. The Ugandan police arrested the couple in January as they fled an angry mob, according to The Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum, a local watchdog group.They are being charged under Section 145 of the Penal Code that bans consensual same-sex relations, according to Sexual Minorities Uganda.

Uganda-same-sex-lawsuit

Uganda is one of 82 countries where homosexuality is illegal. Pecold / Shutterstock.com

Although there has been anti-gay legislation in Uganda since colonial times, President Yoweri Museveni signed a bill in February that calls for “repeat homosexuals” to be jailed for life and makes it a criminal offence to not report someone for being gay. Prosecutors have lined up several witnesses to testify against the two, who have been charged with engaging in sex acts “against the order of nature,” said their lawyer, Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi.

The law’s passage drew international condemnation, with US Secretary of State John Kerry likening it to anti-Semitic legislation in Nazi Germany. Western countries have ever since withheld or cut aid to Uganda over the law, hoping the country’s legislators will repeal it. Several Ugandan government officials have described the Western pressure over the bill as blackmail.

Uganda, is just one of 82 countries where homosexuality is illegal. Most of these countries are in Africa and Asia, though homosexuality is also condemned in countries such as Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, and Indonesia. As of January 2014, no country in Europe has an official law against homosexuality—though countries like Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova have unofficial anti-gay agendas.

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