To Hell With Your Rotten Behaviors- Court Of Appeal Dismisses LGBTQ Advocacy Group’s Application Seeking Registration Through URSB

To Hell With Your Rotten Behaviors- Court Of Appeal Dismisses LGBTQ Advocacy Group’s Application Seeking Registration Through URSB

By Spy Uganda

Kampala: The Court of Appeal in Kampala has rejected a petition filed by members of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) seeking registration and approval to promote LGBTQ activities within Uganda.

In its ruling delivered on Tuesday 12, March 2024, the Court upheld Uganda Registration Services Bureau’s (URSB) decision to refuse registration of the organization aiming to advocate for gay rights, citing concerns related to public policy interests.

The justices, including Deputy Chief Justice Richard Butera, Christopher Gashirabake, and Catherine Bamugemereire, unanimously agreed that URSB acted within the bounds of the law by rejecting the registration of the entity under the name Sexual Minorities Uganda noting that it violates Ugandan laws prohibiting the promotion of LGBT rights within the country.

“This Appeal was not about abrogating any particular behavior in our society. I have already found that the appeal was about the reservation of a name. The learned Judge did not error when she found that the respondent was justified in its decision which was taken in the public interest,” Justice Bamugemereire said in her ruling.

”Based on the above discourse, I find that the respondent was well within its mandate to disallow the name proposed by the appellants under section 36(2) of the Companies Act” she added.

Read Full Judgment Below


The legal dispute began in 2016 when three advocates for gay rights including Frank Mugisha, Dennis Wamala, and Joanita Mary Ssenfuka contested the decision by Uganda Registration Services Bureau to reject the registration of Sexual Minorities Uganda.

Despite their argument that the denial infringed upon their constitutional rights, the URSB maintained that the organization’s objectives conflicted with public policy interests.

In a letter dated February 16, 2016, URSB clearly noted that SMUG’s objectives did not align with public policy interests which prompted the activists to elevate the matter to the High Court but two years later, High Court Judge Patricia Basaza dismissed their petition, upholding the URSB’s decision and directing the activists to cover costs and damages.

Not satisfied with the ruling, the activists filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal which did a through review and once again upheld the URSB’s decision, deeming the rejection of registration justified. The court also ruled that each party should bear their own costs.

The Organization had accused the High Court of allegedly mischaracterizing their organization’s objectives further contending that URSB was unlawfully restricting LGBT rights advocacy in Uganda.

Last year, the parliament of Uganda passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 Act that imposes a punishment of death sentence for a person found guilty of recruiting children into homosexuality; 20 years jail term for people found guilty of being involved in homosexuality acts; and 10 years and 14 years imprisonment for attempted homosexuality and aggravated homosexuality respectively. an accessible web community

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