ADKAMPALA, Friday

Uganda's constitutional court has overturned the anti-gay law that had been branded draconian by rights groups, saying it was wrongly passed by Parliament.

The law is "null and void," the presiding judge told the court, saying the process contravened the constitution, as it had been passed in December without the necessary quorum of lawmakers.

"Justice prevailed, we won," said lawyer Nicholas Opiyo, who led the challenge in the constitutional court. The law's supporters said they would appeal the ruling at the Supreme Court.

"The retrogressive anti-homosexuality act of Uganda has been struck down by the constitutional court it's now dead as a door nail," said Andrew Mwenda, one of 10 petitioners.

JAILED FOR LIFE

The law, signed by Uganda's veteran President Yoweri Museveni in February, said that homosexuals should be jailed for life, outlawed the promotion of homosexuality and obliged Ugandans to report gays to the authorities.

But homosexuality remains illegal and punishable by jail sentences under previous legislation, which is expected to be returned after the court's decision.

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