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Uganda anti-gay law declared 'null and void' by constitutional court

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Uganda anti gay law annulledGay rights activists in Uganda and around the world are celebrating a decision by the country's constitutional court to strike down a widely condemned anti-gay law on a legal technicality.

A panel of five judges ruled on Friday that the speaker of parliament acted illegally when she allowed a vote on the measure despite at least three objections that not enough MPs were in attendance.

"The speaker was obliged to ensure that there was quorum," the court said in its ruling. "We come to the conclusion that she acted illegally."

While celebrating the ruling, activists warned that homosexuality remains a criminal offence in the east African country under colonial-era laws.

The fiercely controversial statute represented a dramatic toughening of the penalties. It banned the "promotion of homosexuality" and enabled life sentences to be imposed for various same-sex acts, including touching in public or living in a same-sex marriage.

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