The Constitutional Court of Uganda has just struck down its controversial “Jail the Gays” law — but only on procedural grounds.
Breaking news , I am officially legal . The constitutional court in Uganda has declared anti homosexuality law 2014 null and void
â€” Dr. Frank Mugisha (@frankmugisha) August 1, 2014
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, created in 2009 as a bill that mandated the death penalty for homosexual acts, has been struck down by Uganda’s Constitutional Court. The Anti-Homosexuality Act Of 2014, signed Â into law by President Yoweri Museveni in February, was ruled invalid as the speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, had pushed a vote on the bill in December without a required quorum.
â€” HIV/AIDS Alliance (@theaidsalliance) August 1, 2014
“In the five months since Uganda adopted the law, which imposes a sentence of up to life in prison for homosexuality and criminalizes advocating LGBT rights, LGBT Ugandans have lived under the constant threat of arrest or mob violence,” Buzzfeed’s J. Lester Feder reports. “The courtâ€™s decision paves the way for organizations to again begin operating openly and to allow LGBT people to resume normal lives. But that change will come slowly â€” homosexuality remains a crime in Uganda under a provision of the penal code on the books before the Anti-Homosexuality Act was passed last December, and there is a chance of a surge in anti-LGBT violence in reaction to todayâ€™s ruling.”
The decision could also significantly ease international pressure on President Yoweri Museveni, who has been under pressure from the United States, the World Bank, and other important donors to get rid of the law or at least substantially weaken it through enforcement.
The court was ruling on a petition brought by a group of 10 human rights activists, legal scholars, and opposition politicians. The court did not rule on the underlying question of whether anti-LGBT laws violate basic human rights, and so the pre-existing sodomy code, which was imposed when Uganda was a British colony, remains in place. Two men are currently awaiting trial under this provision.
Since the vote last year, there has aÂ 20-fold increaseÂ in incidents of anti-LGBT harassment, including blackmail, eviction, and torture, according to a study by Sexual Minorities Uganda. The countryâ€™s largest human rights organization, the Refugee Law Project, has also had many of its activities shut down by the government, which alleges it was involved in â€œpromoting homosexuality.â€
Once the bill was signed into law, authorities wasted no time arresting Ugandans on charges of having sex, and landlords evicted tenants they thought might be gay.
The U.S. religious right is strongly believed to have been the catalyst for the law, and many point to anti-gay hate group leader Pastor Scott Lively, who traveled in Uganda just before MP David Bahati introduced the original 2009 bill. Bahati’s close relationship with Ugandan religious leader Pastor Martin SSempa strengthened the country’s desire for the bill.Â â€œThis is a victory for Uganda. I am glad the parliament has voted against evil,â€ Bahati said when the bill passed last year.
Pastor Martin Sempa, leading homophobe in Uganda with a few supporters listening to judgement in the anti homo act pic.twitter.com/vm7C0BCLaz
â€” Andrew M. Mwenda (@AndrewMwenda) August 1, 2014
Others point to the infamous Washington, D.C. C Street group, known as “The Family,” of which Bahati was a member, for pushing the bill.
â€” jean rossignol (@jrossignol) August 1, 2014
Still others have taken to task U.S. evangelical leaders including Pastor Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, and hate group head Tony Perkins for their position and association with the bill.
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Highland Park Shooting Deaths Include Both Parents of Two Year Old Found at Scene of July 4th Massacre
On Twitter Sunday afternoon in the aftermath of the July 4th Highland Park mass shooting a photo of a young boy appeared in several tweets. He was described as lost, good samaritans assumed he had become separated from his parents in the mayhem of the massacre, and people were trying to reunite him with his family.
CBS Chicago reporter Marissa Parra now reveals the boy’s name is Aiden, but he won’t be reunited with his parents: both were shot dead by the Highland Park gunman.
Remember this little boy found wandering alone after #HighlandPark parade? We’ve just found out why… both his parents were killed💔
A fundraiser has been started for Irina and Kevin McCarthy’s 2-yo son Aiden as he grows up without them
— Marissa Parra (@MarParNews) July 5, 2022
“Kevin McCarthy, 37, and Irina McCarthy, 35, were among the seven people [who] were killed during the mass shooting,” CBS Chicago reports.
“We took him to safety under tragic circumstances, came together to locate his grandparents, and prayed for the safety of his family,” reads the story on a GoFundMe page hoping to raise money for Aiden.
“Sadly, I need to share his name…Aiden McCarthy. And he needs more of our help,” it adds. “At two years old, Aiden is left in the unthinkable position; to grow up without his parents,” it adds. “Aiden will be cared for by his loving grandparents, Misha and Nina Levberg, and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan. He is surrounded by a community of friends and extended family that will embrace him with love, and any means available to ensure he has everything he needs as he grows.”
About $475,000 has quickly been raised with more than 7600 people contributing. The top donation is $5000.
‘Invasion’: Texas Lt. Gov. Likens Border Crossings to Attack on Pearl Harbor – ‘These People Are a Danger to America’
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a far-right Republican, is comparing migrants crossing the border into Texas to Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that killed 2335 people. He is calling it an “invasion” and says that gives the state the right to “put hands on people.”
Patrick, who because of Texas’ unique structure is more powerful than the governor, told Fox News on Tuesday, “we are being invaded, and if we’re being invaded under the constitution I think that gives us the power to put hands on people and send them back. Put hands on people and send them back,” he said repeatedly.
“These people are a danger to America,” Patrick said in a rant. It was unclear if he was referring to migrants or President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The Lt. Governor, who has hawked the racist “great replacement theory” repeatedly, and used the term “invasion” repeatedly, told Fox News that Texas is now spending $4 billion annually on the border, while Texas National Guardsmen and Texas Rangers complain of being called up to serve, having to abandon their regular jobs, for no apparent reason.
“This is the biggest danger we have, to your family,” Patrick says of the fentanyl crossing the border. “It’s all on Biden,” he claimed.
Last week Texas Governor Greg Abbott drew extensive criticism for using the deaths of more than 50 migrants packed into an 18-wheel tractor-trailer as a political opportunity to attack President Biden. Even some conservatives attacked Abbott for his inhumane remarks..
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick repeatedly says the state’s declaration of an “invasion” of migrants means they can “put hands on people and send them back.”
He then says “we’re being attacked just like we were on Pearl Harbor.” pic.twitter.com/kmcPakR43Z
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) July 5, 2022
7th Victim of July 4th Mass Shooting Dies
Seven people have now died as a result of a gunman opening fire from a rooftop into an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
The latest victim succumbed to their injuries Tuesday afternoon, NBC 5 Chicago reported. Authorities have not identified all the victims, but have said five of those who died were adults. Another 46 people were wounded.
Police on Tuesday announced that the shooter fired at least 70 rounds into the crowd, using a “high-powered rifle” that is “similar” to a AR-15. They also revealed the suspected gunman planned the attack for weeks, purchased his weapons legally, disguised himself by wearing women’s attire to “conceal his facial tattoos and his identity,” and to “help him during the escape.” He then walked to his mother’s house after the shooting.
Law enforcement Monday evening arrested Robert Crimo, who they say is a “person of interest,” but he has not been charged.
“There are no words for the kind of monster who lies in wait and fires into a crowd of families with children celebrating a holiday with their community,” Illinois Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “There are no words for the kind of evil that robs our neighbors of their hopes, their dreams, their futures. There are no words I can offer to lift the pain of those they leave behind. Please know that our state grieves with you, that MK and I grieve with you.”
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