Despite threats from authorities, fundraising continues with the goal of building and opening the center in Kampala by year's end.
Ugandan human rights activists and groups are facing pushback from the country's government over plans to open a community center for members of the LGBT community. Simon Lokodo, minister for ethics and integrity, has branded the groups' plans "a criminal act" and pledged to block fundraising and other plans.
“They will have to take it somewhere else. They can’t open a center of LGBT activity here. Homosexuality is not allowed and completely unacceptable in Uganda,” he said. “We don’t and can’t allow it. LGBT activities are already banned and criminalized in this country. So popularising it is only committing a crime.”
Lokodo has made the repression and persecution of the LGBT community in Uganda a personal crusade and has sought to end pride parades in the country with brutal crackdowns. In one such crackdown in 2016, a gay man fell four stories and suffered severe injuries.
“Queer people live in fear of being arrested or getting beaten up or killed. There is no safe space. This is why my team want to open Uganda’s first LGBT community center,” said Petter Wallenberg, director of the group Rainbow Riots. “The center will be a safe space to welcome queer people, encourage and support them. To achieve this, we are currently raising funds to cover the costs.
“We will provide opportunities to learn, relax, socialize and will also give advice on health and safety, which is much needed. It will, in essence, be a support system.” Read more via telesur
EAST AFRICA’S FIRST LGBT COMMUNITY CENTER
HELP RAINBOW RIOTS LAUNCH EAST AFRICA'S FIRST LGBT CENTER!
HELP US START EAST AFRICA’S FIRST LGBT COMMUNITY CENTER
In Uganda it’s illegal to be gay. LGBT people risk being arrested or becoming victims of violence. They have no safe space. Rainbow Riots want to change this.
In 2019 we are opening Uganda’s first LGBT community centre. The centre will be a safe space to welcome the Ugandan LGBT community. With creative expression at the core of the activities, we will create inclusivity within the community whilst also reaching a wider audience through giving Ugandan LGBT people an important voice in the world.
To make this happen, Rainbow Riots needs your help. Be a part of this historic project by donating today.
Rainbow Riots’ founder Petter Wallenberg said:
“I want everyone around the world to help us fight against the horrific injustice against LGBT people in Uganda. By creating this centre we can take a stand for every human’s right to equality and love.”