KAMPALA, Uganda — The only openly gay and lesbian Bar in Uganda has been forcibly closed, according to its owner.
Jacqueline Kasha said Thursday that her Sappho Islands bar was padlocked by the property’s landlord on Sunday. The landlord said the bar was noisy and attracted “strange” persons frequenting it.
The Sappho Islands’s closing is the latest setback for the LGBTQ community in the East African nation. The bar’s closure comes only months after the Ugandan parliament adjourned without acting on the infamous so-called “Kill The Gays” legislation that mandates capital punishment for gays and lesbians convicted of certain offenses.
Last year, a tabloid newspaper in Uganda published the names and photos of men it alleged were gay. One cover included the words “Hang Them.”
Kasha is the founder and executive director of Freedom and Roam Uganda, an LGBTQ advocacy group that has been campaigning for Equality Rights despite serious opposition from political leaders, churches, and even from American anti-gay organizations and groups.
Kasha’s fellow LGBTQ rights activist David Kato was murdered after the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone published a list of names, photos and addresses of gay people. Kasha, who has been recognized internationally for her advocacy work, was also on the published list.
Kasha has stated that she intends to establish another LGBTQ venue.