Gay rights opponents in Uganda have
accused the government of caving in to Western pressure over the
nation's harsh anti-gay law.
A 5-judge panel of Uganda's
Constitutional Court last week ruled the legislation invalid because
it was approved during a parliamentary session that lacked a quorum.
The measure, approved by lawmakers in
December and signed by President Yoweri Museveni in February, calls
for life imprisonment for the crime of “aggravated homosexuality.”
The law also bans the “promotion of homosexuality.”
Supporters of the law called for an
inquiry into the court's impartiality and accused the government of
caving in to the demands of Western nations, several of which cut off
aid to the east African nation after the law's passage.
Evangelical Pastor Martin Ssempa, who
as chairman of the National Taskforce Against Homosexuality was
instrumental in getting the law approved, condemned the ruling and
suggested that Museveni's inclusion in an upcoming summit of African
leaders hosted by President Obama played a hand in the law's demise.
“Is there a possibility that the
president traveling to Washington next week could have been the
reason why this particular case was hurried at lightning speed?”
Ssempa rhetorically asks reporters.
“Our country now today stands
unprotected. Our children are unprotected,” he added. “We
therefore ask the parliament to investigate the independence of the
Museveni has denied the allegations.
“I was going to Washington with the
bill when it was stopped,” he is quoted as saying by the
AFP. “It has nothing to do with us going to Washington.”
Ssempa, who is best know for saying
men eat “poo poo” like ice cream, repeated his claim in
comments to the media: “We're wondering whether the ruling is in
any way related to the president's travel to America because Obama
has made it clear his No. 1 policy agenda is advancing