Ugandan Gay Pride a Great Success

Beach Pride Uganda 2012 Defying Arrests – “Next time we begin the march from the police station” Frank Mugisha

Melanie Nathan, August 05, 2012.

In an extraordinary display of pride the Ugandan LGBTI community has defied the odds and despite police arrests were able to conclude a weekend full of Gay Pride events, heralding their defiance and fight against bigotry, misconception and ignorance!

This weekend, after months of preparation, the vision and hard work of LGBTI Ugandan activists became a reality as an historic series of Gay Pride events took place, starting with a party,  beach parade, parties and concluding  with a small film festival.

The event was well attended considering that it could not be openly advertised in a country that criminalizes homosexual sex acts and seeks legislation to kill its gays for “aggravated homosexuality” with long prison terms for so called “promotion of homosexuality.”

While the would be Anti-Homosexuality Bill of David Bahati has languished in the Ugandan Parliament failing in passage, the world watches with a keen eye as a number of events collide:-

  • The Ugandan Minister of Ethics Simon Lokodo faces court clash with gay rights activists for breaking up an innocent and legal  meeting at a private hotel resort in Entebbe earlier this year;
  • The government of Uganda’s embarrassment at unwarranted arrests of foreign visitors at a meeting to discuss human rights issues held at a private resort;
  • The important attendance of  Ugandan openly gay LGBTI HIV/AIDS , at the International  2012 AIDS Conference in Washington D.C. in a fight to ensure that msm (male sex with male)  is not impacted to negate the progress in fighting the infection and where Dr. Elly Katabira, AIDS 2012 International Chair, President of the International AIDS Society (IAS) and Professor of Medicine at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda noted the importance of fighting against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill by local activists and international community alike;
  • The visit of U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton this past week to Uganda where she paid tribute and gave an award to a coalition of Human rights defenders for their  gay rights advocacy; and
  • The first official Ugandan Beach Pride event which saw a successful start to finish of each and every event as planned, despite arrests, heralding the renewed fight for decriminalization of homosexuality and the right to live ones sexuality as a basic human right.

The importance of this Pride event cannot be understated.The fact that these brave activists could pull this off in the climate of persecution, fueled by hate which has resulted from misinformation and misunderstanding, is a great victory for the community.

It notes the ongoing legacy of activist David Kato, the defiance against the export of American Evangelical hate, the defeat of the Bahati Bill which has not seen the light of day, the support of the international community for human rights, it shows leadership for all of Africa and above all it shows that the LGBTI people of Uganda simply refuse to give up their right to exist and to live their natural born sexual orientation.

The excuse of the anti-gay element that the Gays of Uganda are trying to recruit children and promote homosexuality has no basis and any educated person who has read and understood the science knows that to do so is simply impossible. The Ugandan Government should focus on the real pedophiles.  The  poverty that has resulted in men taking advantage of women and children with rampant sex slavery. That is the ill of Uganda that should become the prime concern, not a few gays and lesbians and transgender people who simply want their right to love, in private, whom they choose.

So in the words of world renowned award winning gay activists, Frank Mugisha who proudly attended the weekend Pride:

“We did not have a chance to thank the pride organizers ,the entire committee and the grand marshal.  Thumbs up to you all who made this happen. Next time we begin the march from the police station”

See More about the arrests and quotes from activists such as Kasha at http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2012/08/04/ugandan-police-raid-beach-pride-party-arrest-lgbt-acitvists/

PICTURES BY DAVID ROBINSON© 2012 SEE ADVOCATE MAGAZINE

SEE  MANY MORE PICTURES IN MY ARTICLE IN THE ADVOCATE

Melanie Nathan
nathan@privatecourts.com
My Facebook Page has reached its limit, but please “like” my advocacy page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melanie-Nathan-Advocacy/253495108038074 and I tweet @melanienathan1

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