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Breaking: Uganda ‘Jail The Gays’ Law Struck Down On Procedural Grounds (Video)

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The Constitutional Court of Uganda has just struck down its controversial “Jail the Gays” law — but only on procedural grounds.

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  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.

“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 court’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 — 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 today’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 a 20-fold increase in incidents of anti-LGBT harassment, including blackmail, eviction, and torture, according to a study by Sexual Minorities Uganda. The country’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 “promoting homosexuality.”

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. “This is a victory for Uganda. I am glad the parliament has voted against evil,” Bahati said when the bill passed last year.

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.

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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Related:

Tony Perkins: Uganda President ‘Leading His Nation’ With ‘Kill The Gays’ Bill

Scott Lively: Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill’s Expected Passage A ‘Huge Blessing’

Help Stop Evangelicals Exporting Homophobia And Sexism To Uganda

American Family Association Leader Praises Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Law

 

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'THIS REVELATION SHOCKED ME'

‘Could Have Killed One of Our Colleagues’: Former Trump Official Rips Him for Hiding Positive COVID Test

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Former Trump White House official Alyssa Farah on Wednesday shredded her one-time boss for concealing his positive test for the novel coronavirus last fall.

Appearing on CNN, Farah told Jake Tapper that she was stunned to learn from former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows that Trump had tested positive for the virus days ahead of his first debate with President Joe Biden and decided against informing his staff members.

“Very few things shock me and this revelation shocked me,” she said.

Farah went on to explain that she had not been informed of Trump’s positive COVID-19 test, and accused the former president of recklessly endangering his own staff members.

“This demonstrates a flagrant lack of regard for public health and for the well-being of others,” she said. “At this time in the White House, I had staffers who were pregnant. I had one who is a multi-time cancer survivor. Plenty of people in the West Wing over 65. We could have killed one of our colleagues and instead they decided to not tell anyone, putting every one of us at risk.”

Watch the video below.

 

 

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'CLARIFYING THINGS'

Mark Meadows Retweets Trump’s Denial He Tested Positive for COVID Before Debate – a Fact That Appears in Meadows’ Book

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Less than 24 hours after former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows appeared to agree to cooperate with the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, news broke that The Guardian had obtained a copy of his new book, and from it the revelation that three days before appearing on stage with Joe Biden at the Sept. 26 presidential debate the then-president, Donald Trump, had tested positive for coronavirus.

Never mind that a second test showed a negative result – one Harvard epidemiologist says that merely meant Trump was not yet infectious but he was, by the debate, “blazing positive” but decided to go on a potentially infect countless others. That act, the noted disease specialist and professors says, “was a massive, dangerous and likely intentional decision.”

Trump, as usual, especially in recent days, issued a quick statement via his spokesperson, this time denying the revelation in Meadows’ book, a revelation The Washington Post Wednesday afternoon reported it had confirmed with two other former Trump aides.

What is stunning is that, as Politico National Political Correspondent Meridith McGraw notes, Meadows himself retweeted Trump’s statement of denial:

The Washington Post also notes that at least six people close to Trump tested positive for coronavirus shortly after the debate, including Melania Trump, Hope Hicks, Stephen Miller, and Kayleigh McEnany.

“Trump on Wednesday was furious that Meadows revealed the anecdote in his forthcoming book and that it was published via the liberal-leaning Guardian website, according to a person familiar with the former president’s reaction, who requested anonymity to reveal a private conversation,” the Post adds. “Meadows through an emissary has offered to put out a statement ‘clarifying things,’ but that offer was rejected, the person said.”

Which is likely why he decided to retweet Trump’s statement.

Writer and political activist Don Winslow has another take on the day’s events:

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BREAKING NEWS

Watch: Stacey Abrams Announces She’s Running for Governor of Georgia

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Stacey Abrams has just announced she is running for governor of Georgia. Abrams, the former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives for more than six years ran for governor in 2018, losing by a slim margin to then Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp in a race many saw as tainted by his voter suppression actions.

Abrams went on to become a highly-effective voting rights advocate and activist, and many credit her with helping elect Joe Biden president by helping him win the state by registering an estimated 800,000 more voters.

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