by Kolapo Olapoju
Several Ugandan homosexuals and their supporters have held their first gay pride parade on Saturday, 9 August, at Botanical gardens on the shores of Lake Victoria, Entebbe.
The parade is their first public event since a Ugandan court invalidated an anti-gay law.
Many marchers wore masks, while others waved rainbow-coloured flags as they danced and celebrated. There was music and laughter in excess as activists and homosexual Ugandans gathered to mark what was more like a gay liberation parade.
Organiser of the gay pride parade, Sandra Ntebi said, “This event is to bring us together. Everyone was in hiding before because of the anti-homosexuality law. It is a happy day for all of us, getting together,” Ntebi said, noting that police had granted permission for the invitation-only “Uganda Pride” rally
However, Ugandan lesbian activist Jacqueline Kasha said this is the third annual gay pride event. “The first one, in 2012, turned violent after local police tried to break it up. This time they were expecting full protection from the police. We are a group of people who have suffered enough. We are Ugandans who have the right to gather in a public place … and we are going to have fun.”
Homosexuality remains illegal in Uganda, punishable by a jail sentence. But it is no longer illegal to promote homosexuality, and Ugandans are no longer obliged to denounce gays to the authorities.
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