Yesterday, it was a National Resistance Movement (NRM) Member of Parliament that made his own Minority Report on the amended version of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023. This was Hon. Fox Odoi of Budama North East County. He was the only voice of reason, as the 11th Parliament for the second time passed the Anti-Gay law and did so with the blessing of the President.
I am amazed that Odoi was alone in this. Because his assessment is right. The law will be used as a tool and people can easily be deemed “gay” and therefore be in legal jeopardy. That’s the sort of play and this law is directly targeting on outcasted group of society. This is the LGBTQ+ community. I would have never thought a NRM MP would write a dissenting Report and be the only signatory of it. However, yesterday was such a day and its baffling.
Just read these parts of the Minority Report and you should be concerned to about the usage and the limitations of the law. It shows the disregard of justice and impunity of which it possibly serves. The law itself is draconian and can be a tool of oppression. Not only against actual gays or LGBTQ+ people, but also people who can be accused as such.
Just read these parts, which I have taken from the Report itself…
“The proposal of the President to the extent that it saves the criminalization of consensual same sex relations in clause 2 is self-defeating since on one hand it recognizes their existence and on the other, it punishes their acts. Like the Bill, the proposal by the President will still leave room for the abuse of the rights and freedoms of LGBTQI+ community by legislating the discrimination of such persons, the perpetuation of inhuman and degrading punishments, the invasion of their privacy, the denial of their right to health, housing as well as the right to seek and obtain justice and remedies at law for wrongs committed against such persons. The proposal by the President does not protect, in a comprehensive manner, any of the rights and freedoms enshrined and protected in chapter four of the Constitution” (Minority Report P:4, 02.05.2023).
“The minority fear that this provision will be abused by law enforcement agencies who may label persons homosexuals, without being denied by courts of law. The will require such persons to defend themselves, thereby reversing the burden of proof from the prosecution to the accused person. It is trite criminal law that the prosecution bears the burden to prove the offence against the accused. This burden of proof does not shift to the accused to prove their innocence as the Bill proposes. The burden of proof always rests on the prosecution. The prosecution must adduce evidence to discharge its burden of proof” (Minority Report, P: 5, 02.05.2023).
“The minority has examined the proposals by the President and is of the considered opinion that they are insufficient to salvage the Bill. The unconstitutionality of the Bill cannot be remedied through a partial and ineffective recognition of the existence of LGBTQI+ community while at the same time criminalizing the enjoyment of their constitutional right and freedoms” (Minority Report, 02.05.2023).
Hope to God that after the President accents the law and it goes into effect. That someone petition the Courts and tests its true limitations. Because, the Minority Report even states that its unconstitutional, meaning it goes against the cornerstone of the laws in the Republic. You cannot create new laws, which are in disregard of the Constitution. That makes the law “void” or unredeemable. Therefore, the Anti-Homosexual Act of 2023 could be dismissed or ruled against. If someone would petition it and if so… they would return the favour, which happened to a similar law in 2014.
The NRM and the MPs are apparently going in circle and never learning. The 11th Parliament repeating the sins of the 9th Parliament. When they can write a law like this against one Minority of Society. They can easily do the same against others. That’s what I fear and what people should be worried about. The Minority Report itself states another worry on the implementation and usage of it, which are despicable and a possibility. No one should be shocked if an opposition figure or activists is deemed “gay” and thrown in prison. That is just a given in the current state of affairs. Peace.