Uganda: Expansive ‘Anti-Porn’ Law Deemed Unconstitutional

KAMPALA, Uganda — One of the world’s most restrictive “anti-pornography” laws, the indecency statute passed by Uganda in 2014, has been struck by the nation’s Constitutional Court as unconstitutional.

According to the BBC, the law was “quashed” following pressure from women’s rights groups, with a panel of five judges unanimously ruling “that sections of the law that defined pornographic offenses, including a ban on ‘indecent’ clothing, were unconstitutional.”

The government had initially claimed the repressive law was needed “to prohibit the spread of pornography” and “to help protect women and children,” but was, in practice, used for morality policing and to target women with misogynistic campaigns about the way they chose to dress.

“Critics say the law was misused, leading to women being attacked in the streets for wearing certain types of clothing, such as miniskirts,” the BBC reported.

The law also allowed for song lyrics and music videos to be labeled pornographic, and made the responsible artists criminally liable.

“In 2015, female musician Jemimah Kansiime — also known as Panadol Wa’basajja (medicine for men) — became the first person to be prosecuted under the law,” the BBC noted. “She faced up to 10 years in prison for a song which euphemistically referred to men’s sexual prowess.”

‘God Loves Uganda’

The African nation was the subject of the award-winning 2013 documentary “God Loves Uganda,” documenting how American evangelicals traveled there to spread homophobic teachings and to influence religious politicians into denying rights to LGBTQ Ugandans.

“One of the most powerful groups is International House of Prayer, a Kansas City-based mega-church with hundreds of outposts, more than 1,000 staffers and a declared mission to secure a ‘million new souls and a billion dollars’ for Christ by 2020,” Mother Jones reported in 2013.

International House of Prayer is the parent ministry of Exodus Cry, the anti-porn ministry that initiated the current War on Porn campaign against Pornhub and MindGeek, led by their spokesperson Laila Mickelwait.

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