Gay Rights in Uganda: Seeking to Overturn Uganda's Anti-Sodomy Laws


Hollander, Michael. 2009. "Gay Rights in Uganda: Seeking to Overturn Uganda's Anti-Sodomy Laws." Virginia Journal of International Law 50: 219-66.

Author: Michael Hollander


Sections of the Ugandan Penal Code criminalizing sodomy were imposed during colonial rule, but have been fully integrated into Ugandan social norms and culture.  This article argues for a national and international framework that together might lead to the repeal of discriminatory legislation.  However, it cautions that changes to the law must be coupled with changes in the cultural, public, and religious perceptions of homosexuality which are deeply entrenched at this time.

This essay presents a comprehensive legal argument for overturning the anti-sodomy laws (as documented in Sections 145, 146, and 148 of the Uganda Penal Code Act) that have been adopted by the Ugandan government during the post-colonial era. Hollander uses “both a national constitutional framework and an international framework that includes treaties, other international agreements, and a developing international consensus that persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) individuals is a human rights violation” in presenting his argument.

Keywords: human rights, law

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Governance, Constitutions, International Law, LGBTQ, Religion, Rights, Human Rights, Sexuality Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2009

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