Category: LGBTIQ

August 2014 – Constitutional Court dismisses the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, Uganda

The Ugandan Constitutional Court dismissed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill asserting it had been unlawfully passed by parliament.  The Court said that technically the vote cast on the Bill lacked the necessary quorum to have been passed into law, meaning that the Bill was invalid. The Bill which was introduced to parliament in 2009, and signed into law in February of 2014 impacted the lives of homosexual people in Uganda, but also trans and intersex people’s lives were in danger.

February 2014 – Parliament passes the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, Uganda

The Ugandan parliament passes the Anti-Homosexuality Bill criminalizing any sexual acts and relations between people of the same sex. The maximum sentence for such offenses would be the death penalty or life imprisonment. In the few years build-up before the Bill was signed into law, although with language using “gays” and “homosexuals”, the prospect and the eventual implementation impacted also trans and intersex people. The Bill was first introduced in 2009.

May 2007 – ILGA establishes a Pan African ILGA (PAI)

The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) hosted a conference in Johannesburg, with the aim of establishing a Pan Africa ILGA (PAI). The African caucus had to determine the ILGA-Africa constitution and one of the decisions was to establish the number of board members and representation. At first, there was a motion that there should be 10 board members, 2 each from North, South, East, West, and Central African regions, as the continent is huge and diverse in cultures, experiences, and issues, and giving attention to diversity was one way to ensure regional representation. The caucus also decided that each region should be represented by board members who are equally divided between Gays and Lesbians.  At this point, a handful of activists advocated for the inclusion of one more board member, who could be from any region, but who identifies as trans or intersex.  This motivation influenced the PAI board to make the decision to expand the board by one more position which was mandated to be occupied by either a trans or intersex person. At that stage, there were not many outspoken, self-identified trans or intersex activists on the continent of Africa and as a trans activist, Liesl Theron, although not identifying as trans or intersex, was nominated for that position.  After robust deliberations with other activists at the meeting, Liesl agreed to accept the nomination on the condition that her position on the board had to be a temporary one in order to give the PAI board 1 year of time to search for an activist who identifies as trans or intersex, to take over the position from her irrespective of the actual length of board term stated in the Constitution of the PAI.  This created lengthy deliberations during the setting-up of the Pan-Africa Ilga meeting, as the Constitution had to be in line with other regional Constitutions (i.e. term of Board members and regional representation), and the inclusion of an additional board position to ensure trans or intersex representation was a milestone achievement.  Liesl resigned from the board in March 2008.