MORE than 300 people attended a pride parade in the Ugandan capital earlier this month.
The event took place without violence in what Richard Lusimbo, organiser for Pride Uganda who works for Sexual Minorities Uganda – an LGBT advocacy group known by the acronym SMUG – described as an enclosed area “in a public space” in Kampala.
[showads ad=MREC]The parade also coincided with the year anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Uganda striking down the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act under which those convicted of repeated same-sex sexual acts faced life in prison.
“We are trying to communicate to the rest of the world — and also to Uganda…we have been able to stand, we’ve been able to achieve, we’ve been able to work this work because of our family,” Lusimbo told the Washington Blade during a Skype interview from Kampala, highlighting the theme of this year’s parade.
“Our family is just not our father, mother, sister or uncle. But our family is that ally who supports us, that ally who has stood with us.”
The parade was among a series of Pride-related events that took place in Kampala on August 5-9. These include a pageant and a gathering designed to raise awareness of trans* Ugandans.
Lusimbo told the Blade that all of the events took place without incident.
Uganda is among the countries in which homosexuality remains illegal, even though the country’s highest court has struck down the Anti-Homosexuality Act.
Lusimbo was among the Ugandan advocates who met with Randy Berry, the special US envoy to promote global LGBT rights, on July 14 in Kampala.
US President Barack Obama a few days later during a Nairobi press conference with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta criticised Kenya’s LGBT rights record.
This article was first published in the Washington Blade, an LGBTI news outlet based in Washington DC, US. Michael K. Lavers is the Blade’s International News Editor.[showads ad=FOOT]