Month: April 2024

Message from Trans Youth Initiative Uganda

Please read below an urgent message from our grantee partner Trans Youth Initiative-Uganda:

“On April 3, 2024, the Constitutional Court pronounced itself on the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023. The ruling was delivered by a panel of five justices, led by Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera, who collectively upheld the Act’s constitutionality except for Sections 3(2)c, 9, 11(2)d, and 14. The Court’s ruling preserves the majority of the Act, including its most deadliest provisions that continue to criminalize homosexuality and allow for the death penalty in cases of ‘aggravated homosexuality.’

This ruling marks a critical moment in our ongoing struggle for equality and justice. The partial acknowledgment of the Act’s infringement on constitutional rights highlights the complexities of advocating for LGBTQ+ rights within the current legal and cultural context of Uganda. While we celebrate the court’s recognition of these fundamental rights, we also recognize the significant challenges that lie ahead, given the Act’s broader provisions remain in effect.

This decision has already refueled hostility toward the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda, reinforcing an environment of fear and persecution. Less than a month ago, the same judicial system upheld the deregistration and shutdown of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a decision that seriously endangers the lives and rights of LGBTQ+ people in Uganda and has an impact on LGBTQ+ organizing as the regulatory environment increasingly stifles civil society.

In light of these events, we renew our call for the full repeal of this draconian law. we urgently call on you, our trusted partner, to join us in this demand.

Since the passing of the Act, we have documented alarming increases in arrests, violence, job losses, evictions, hate speech, blackmail, harassment, threats, property damage, cyberbullying, torture, and mob justice fueled by the anti-LGBTIQ rhetoric of the Act. The mental health of rural transgender youth women, transgender youth sex workers and gender diverse youth is deteriorating under this weight, with reported cases of depression, anxiety, and stress rising alarmingly.

While the court’s ruling is a mixed outcome, we remain steadfast in our commitment to fight for dignity, equality, and the fundamental human rights of all.

We call upon you, to stand with us during this critical time. Your solidarity has never been more critical. Your support is more important than ever as we navigate the implications of this ruling and strategize our next steps.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude for the solidarity you have shown thus far. In the face of adversity, it is the unity and commitment of our allies that embolden us to persevere and strive towards a just and inclusive world for every individual, irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation.

With deepest appreciation and in solidarity.”