First Uganda gay pride a success despite police raid

Uganda held a historic weekend long gay pride which turned out a success despite a police raid, widespread homophobia and anti-gay laws 

First Uganda gay pride a success despite police raid
06 August 2012

Uganda’s LGBT community was able to conduct a weekend of gay pride events despite police arrests and harassment.

The historic LGBT pride was a series of events held at Entebbe starting with a party and including a beach parade, more parties and a small film festival.

The event was well attended, despite the fact that in Uganda gay people face life imprisonment according to law and widespread homophobia from the public.

On Saturday (4 August) police raided pride and reportedly detained activists who were taken by van to the police station but later released without charges being filed.

Jamaican LGBT activist Maurice Tomlinson, who was honored as the grand marshal of the event, stated: ‘The march, dubbed Uganda Beach Pride, was held on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens on the banks of the majestic Lake Victoria.

‘Many parents even brought their kids over to hear the music and listen to the few speeches and share in the jubilant atmosphere. The pride organizers even shared food and drinks freely with the onlookers.

‘There was a wonderful party atmosphere and apparently one of the beach goers complained to the police that we were conducting a gay wedding.

‘…As a result, I got my first ride in the back of a police van!

‘After a very confusing and utterly disgraceful performance at the station by the police (including the officers insisting we all sit on the bare floor until we were processed, one officer pushing a young female to the floor and another verbally abusing the 60-year-old female anthropologist from Makerere University) we were all released without charges or an explanation.’

Ugandan LGBT activist Frank Mugisha was also arrested posting on Facebook ‘right now detained at Entebbe police but we won’t give up’.

After the detainees were released without charges pride events continued uninterrupted.

Tomilson also stated: ‘I commend the excellent team of Frank [Mugisha] and Kasha for pulling off a brave event against all odds. This first-hand exposure to the Ugandan police system gives me even greater respect for the tremendous work these guys do under seemingly impossible odds.’

Mugisha, also commented on the weekend long event: ‘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.’

Pictures from Uganda’s first and historic gay pride can be viewed here (from the Facebook group):

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

A Christian gran’s crazy ideas for anti-gay books for kids

Grandmother demands libraries stock books that don’t exist to balance literature supporting LGBTI families
No thumbnail available

Republican leadership files brief in DOMA Supreme Court case

It states 'There is nothing irrational about declining to extend marriage to same-sex relationships'
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Olympic bosses 'all talk and no action' on gay rights

Activist Peter Tatchell slams IOC for 'ignoring' his calls for countries to sign equality pledge or face a ban from the games
No thumbnail available

Kirk Cameron blames 'liberal press' for backlash on anti-gay comments

'That's not to say there's not a better way of saying something - I think Todd Akin would agree with that'
No thumbnail available

Honduran gay man found dead in a ditch

The cause of death is still unkown for Jefri Josué Hernández, an Honduran gay man who never came home after leaving a neighborhood party
No thumbnail available

Tokyo Disneyland hosts lesbian wedding

Gay rights activist and her girlfriend marry in double bridal white wedding in Tokyo Disneyland
No thumbnail available

Exodus International vice president apologizes for harms of ex-gay message

Exodus International vice president Randy Thomas has issued his own apology after its president Alan Chambers apologized and closed the organization
No thumbnail available

Human Rights Campaign formally apologizes to transgender community for past slights

HRC President Chad Griffin: 'I am sorry for the times you have been underrepresented or unrepresented by this organization'
No thumbnail available

Matt Bomer reveals that he is a married man

Actor reveals that he and Hollywood publicist Simon Halls wed in 2011 - the year before he came out publicly