n Stellenbosch Law Review = Stellenbosch Regstydskrif - Protecting the right to freedom of sexual orientation : what can Uganda learn from South Africa?

Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1016-4359
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2193



This article deals, in a comparative manner, with the protection of the right to sexual orientation in South Africa and Uganda. It shows that the South African Constitution provides adequate protection of the right to freedom of sexual orientation. In Uganda, on the other hand, not only does the Ugandan Constitution expressly prohibit same sex marriages, but the Uganda Penal Code also criminalises homosexuality under the so-called "offences against the order of nature". Moreover, in the recent past, the spotlight has been firmly directed on Uganda due to its proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill which, if enacted, would not only broaden the criminalisation of homosexuality, but would also violate several fundamental human rights norms.

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the disparate and contrasting approaches between Uganda and South Africa towards freedom of sexual orientation and to explore the lessons that Uganda could learn from South Africa in this regard. In so doing, the paper focuses on the constitutional and legal contexts within which the protection of the rights of LGBT people should be premised. Furthermore, the paper highlights the enormous and opprobrious social challenges and discriminatory hardships that LGBT people have to contend with both in Uganda and South Africa, and goes on to show the potential achievements of struggles through court action and the inadequacy of juridical strategies in isolation.

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