John M. Becker

LGBT Rights Demonstrators Target Ugandan Embassy

Filed By John M. Becker | April 21, 2014 6:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: embassy, Uganda, Uganda anti-gay law, Washington D.C., Yoweri Museveni

uganda-embassy-homophobia-1.jpgLast weekend, LGBT rights demonstrators targeted the embassy of Uganda in Washington, D.C., covering the wrought-iron fence in front of the building with large posters denouncing the country's draconian crackdown on LGBT rights.

Large signs facing 16th Street read "Uganda: State-Sponsored Homophobia" and "Repeal Anti-Homosexuality Act Now! An "eviction notice" from the U.S. LGBT community is also displayed, along with photographs of Ugandans celebrating the passage of the country's new Anti-Homosexuality Law and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous quote, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

The display was first reported on Saturday by Cathy Kristofferson at O-blog-dee-o-blog-da, but as of Monday afternoon the signs were still visible outside the Ugandan embassy, meaning that they've been up for three full days.

I can't imagine that this is just a matter of embassy staff neglecting to remove them; perhaps they took a long weekend off for the Easter holiday?

Whatever the reason, the Ugandan embassy's inaction has aided the demonstrators' efforts considerably: D.C.'s 16th Street, where the building sits, is a major north-south thoroughfare connecting downtown with the Maryland suburbs and I-495 (the Capital Beltway). This means that the display has likely been seen by thousands of holiday travelers and commuters.

Uganda's new Anti-Homosexuality Law was signed by President Yoweri Museveni in February. It imposes a lifetime prison sentence for the "crime" of "aggravated homosexuality," mandates jail time for sexual acts between members of the same sex, compels people to turn in anyone they know who has engaged in same-sex sexual conduct, and penalizes them if they fail to do so.

The first two men charged under Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Law will go on trial for their alleged "crimes" next month.

More photos of the display at the Ugandan embassy are after the jump, via O-blog-dee-o-blog-da.

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