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Uganda LGBT community holds pride parade in Entebbe

Saturday, August 9, 2014
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Ugandans take part in the 3rd Annual LGBT Pride celebrations in Entebbe, Uganda, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.Rebecca Vassie, AP

Ugandans take part in the 3rd Annual LGBT Pride celebrations in Entebbe, Uganda, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.

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ENTEBBE, Uganda — Members of Uganda’s LGBT community and their supporters are holding a gay pride parade on a beach in the lakeside town of Entebbe.

The parade is their first public event since a Ugandan court invalidated an anti-gay law that was widely condemned by some Western governments and human rights watchdogs.

About 200 people are expected to attend the event, said Ugandan gay activist Moses Kimbugwe. He said participants were waiting for police protection before they marched through sprawling botanical gardens in Entebbe, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the capital of Kampala.

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Many marchers wore masks, signaling they did not want to be publicly identified in a country where gays face discrimination. Others waved rainbow flags as they danced and frolicked on a sandy beach.

This is the third annual gay pride event, said organizers. The first one, in 2012, turned violent after local police tried to break it up, said Ugandan lesbian activist Jacqueline Kasha. This time they were expecting full protection from the police, she said.

“We are a group of people who have suffered enough,” she said. “We are Ugandans who have the right to gather in a public place … and we are going to have fun.”

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