Brave Ugandans

Last weekend, Cleveland held its annual Gay Pride parade that had to be rescheduled when the original one a month earlier was rained out due to a torrential downpour. These events are now very festive ones because Cleveland has become a city that is known for being welcoming to gays, even hosting the Gay Games last year, and one rarely hears about any protestors at these events

The same cannot be said for the nation of Uganda that, urged on by some American evangelicals, has taken a very hostile attitude towards gays

In 2014, Uganda attracted a storm of international condemnation after enacting one of the harshest anti-gay laws in Africa, where homosexuality is illegal in 37 countries.

A constitutional court later overturned the law because of legal technicalities. Despite threats by some lawmakers that the bill would be re-introduced in parliament, that has not happened and analysts say it would be unlikely to succeed in the face of strong pressure from Western donors.

But last weekend also saw about 70 people taking part in a gay pride parade in Uganda. Gays still face huge discrimination in terms of hostility from family and friends and the possibility of losing jobs and their housing. So it should not be surprising that the parade was held at a secluded lake outside the capital city Kampala and not in the city itself. But it still took a lot of courage and I hope the people who took part do not suffer for it.


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