Uganda Holds First Pride Parade Since Anti-Gay Law Was Overturned

The overturning of an extreme anti-gay law in Uganda this month allows for a particularly special pride parade.  

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A gay pride parade in Uganda has special meaning this year following a decision by one of the country's courts overturning an extreme anti-gay law that could have landed homosexuals in prison for life.

About 200 attendees were expected to march in Entebbe on Saturday, the lakeside town about 25 miles from the capital city of Kampala, for the third annual Ugandan gay pride parade. The first, which was violently broken up by police, was a much different scenario than the expected police protection this year.

"We are a group of people who have suffered enough," said Ugandan lesbian activist Jacqueline Kasha. "We are Ugandans who have the right to gather in a public place ... and we are going to have fun."

The anti-gay law signed by President Yoweri Museveni earlier this year toughened existing penalties for what the law called "aggravated homosexuality." However, a Ugandan court decision earlier this month invalidated the law because it had been passed without the requisite number of legislators.

Nicholas Opiyo, the human rights lawyer who led the fight against the law, is less sanguine about the legal win.

“That is what is most scary,” Opiyo told TIME. “The unseen, the unreported, the unwritten discrimination in the shop you go to, in the medical center you go to, on the bus you take or on the motor bike you take into town. That breaks your spirit.”

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.