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Ugandan activists challenge anti-gay law in court

ASSOCIATED PRESS

KAMPALA, Uganda -- Rights activists have petitioned Uganda's Constitutional Court in a case challenging the validity of the country's new anti-gay measure.

The activists — under a group called Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law — filed the petition Tuesday in the presence of some prominent Ugandan gay activists.

Nicholas Opiyo, a Ugandan lawyer who helped to draft the petition, said the new anti-gay law violates the country's constitution because it encourages the discrimination of people based on sexual orientation. He said it will be several months, even years, before judges reach a decision in the case.

Uganda's president enacted the law last month, strengthening criminal penalties against homosexuals despite Western criticism.

The new law allows jail terms of up to life for those convicted of engaging in gay sex.

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