By Melanie Nathan
A protest march will take place in Pretoria on Freedom Day, April 27, to demand equality for lesbians and gays in both the U.S. and Uganda. Organized by Up & Out, the University of Pretoria’s gay organization, the protesters will march from the Ugandan Embassy to the U.S. Embassy. The U.S. has been slammed by the organization for its continued refusal to grant same-sex couples federal marriage rights and benefits. “How can a supposed first world nation decide to do such things?” asked Up & Out in a statement.
Uganda is also under immense international pressure over its proposed Anti Homosexuality Bill which, if passed by the country’s parliament, would impose the death penalty on people found guilty of repeated “homosexual offenses”.
“We as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Inter-sexed, Asexual (LGBTIA) youth and champions are devastated at the ongoing government tyranny in Uganda. It is inhumane and totally uncalled for,” said Up & Out. No right minded individual should even be able to comprehend the preposterous notion of giving someone the death penalty on grounds of their sexual orientation. To add to the injustice, if you are related to or even know of an LGBTIA individual in Uganda, you will either be arrested or fined for not bringing these individuals to the attention of the authorities.”
The protest march will kick off at 10am, on Tuesday 27 April, with protesters urged to meet at the OUT offices at 1081, Pretorius Street, Hatfield (two houses down from the corner of Pretorius and Hilda streets).
The group will then gather outside the nearby Ugandan Embassy in Church Street before marching toward the US embassy in Pretorius Street. Participants are urged to bring placards, banners and pickets.