Uganda’s government, which is tightly controlled by President Yoweri Museveni, a former guerrilla fighter who has ruled for 28 years, did not immediately indicate if it was going to appeal the court’s ruling.
Mr. Museveni has stubbornly supported the anti-gay measure, despite international outcry and cuts in aid from several Western governments, and he may well try to resurrect the law. He has called gays “mercenaries” and said they are more likely to get sexually transmitted diseases and stomach worms. Some Ugandan legal scholars were hoping that Mr. Museveni would use the court’s ruling as convenient cover and drop what has turned into a diplomatic headache for him.
As the international criticism grew, and Western countries prepared to cut millions of dollars in aid, the Ugandan government modified the bill to make “aggravated homosexuality” punishable by life in prison, though that hardly placated Western donors. Parliament passed the bill in December, with advocates calling it an “early Christmas gift.” Mr. Museveni publicly signed it into law in February. At the time, he said that “homosexuals are nurtured but not natured,” and that he could not understand how gay men could not be attracted “to all these beautiful women.”
I applaud the president of Uganda for his humility and courage - his nation will be blessed through his sincerity