Kampala and Entebbe, Uganda, August 2015
Between August 5th and 9th, 2015, the LGBT community in Uganda held their fourth Pride celebration—despite the country being one of the worst in the world for LGBT rights. Indeed, in late 2013, politicians in the country passed a bill that not only outlawed gay marriage but made it a punishable with life imprisonment. Other parts of the law stated that individuals or companies who were caught promoting LGBT rights would be fined or imprisoned. And finally, persons “in authority” would be required to report any offence under the Act (i.e. tell the authorities about suspsected homosexuals) within 24 hours or face up to three years’ imprisonment.
Thankfully, in August 2014, Uganda’s Constitutional Court annulled the law on a technicality—but the point remained. LGBT activists in the country put themselves at great risk just by marching in the streets.
Nevertheless, this year’s Pride saw a larger turnout than ever before. To be sure, precautions had to be taken. As with previous Pride celebrations, the events were planned and held in “secret”: they were not advertised to the public, and took place in private locations disclosed only to members of the LGBT community and their supporters just a few days before an event. Despite these measures, the march was a success and pointed the way towards further organizing and “prideful” events.