Bil Browning

Meet the Bravest LGBT People in the World

Filed By Bil Browning | August 11, 2014 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Kill the Gays bill, pride celebration, Uganda, Uganda anti-gay law

Ugandan-men-hold-a-rainbo-011.jpgFollowing the court decision that overturned Uganda's legislation that dictated gays and lesbians be imprisoned for life, some very brave Ugandans took to the streets to celebrate Pride.

Think about that for a moment. Imagine if being open about your sexuality came with a prison sentence only a month ago. Would you have the fortitude to proudly dance in the streets and acknowledging in front of police and government authorities that, yes, you are gay? Now what if you knew that the legislature was trying to rewrite the law to bring it back? Still up for celebrating? I'd be scared shitless.

Sandra Ntebi, organiser of the rally held on Saturday in Entebbe, 35km from the capital Kampala, said police had granted permission for the invitation-only "Uganda Pride" event.

"This event is to bring us together. Everyone was in hiding before because of the anti-homosexuality law," she said. "It is a happy day for all of us, getting together."

The overturned law, condemned as "abominable" by rights groups but popular among many Ugandans, called for proven homosexuals to be jailed for life.

The constitutional court rejected the law on a technicality on 1 August, six months after it took effect. The government swiftly filed an appeal, while MPs have signed a petition for a new vote on the bill.

Homosexuality remains illegal in Uganda, punishable by a jail sentence. However, it is no longer illegal to promote homosexuality and Ugandans are no longer obliged to denounce gays to the authorities.

Amid music, dancing and laughter, activists gathered in a park on the shores of Lake Victoria, close to the country's presidential palace. "Some Ugandans are gay. Get over it," read one sticker a man had pasted onto his face.

Bravest. Gays. Today.

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