First Pride Parade Takes Place in Uganda a Year on From Proposed Draconian Legislation

In what is seen as a milestone a year on since a law requiring homosexuals to be jailed for life was overturned, Uganda held its first Pride rally just outside the capital city of Kampala. The celebrations which lasted nearly a week featured art displays, cultural dances and culminated on Saturday, 8 August with “A Pride Day for the Ugandan LGBT community”

Homosexuality still remains illegal in Uganda and is punishable by imprisonment. However the Supreme Court annulled the proposed draconian legislation making it no longer illegal to promote homosexuality. In addition, Ugandans are no longer obliged to denounce homosexuals to the authorities under the previously proposed law.

Rainbow flags fluttered, crowds sang in unison and banners were held high donning the slogans “Some Ugandans are Gay, Get Over it”. However, Homophobia is rampant in Uganda and numerous LGBT people have been attacked and harassed, while others have been forced into hiding or exile.

“No one would have predicted a year ago that the LGBT community would be in a position to hold a Pride parade after the proposal and near passing of such homophobic legislation. We now hope that the Ugandan government finally revokes all homophobic legislation and grants full equal rights to all citizens of the country,” said Mesfin Negash, Programme Director for East & Horn of Africa at Civil Rights Defenders.

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