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Uganda Pride Canceled After Police Raid

AP Photo/Rebecca Vassie

The celebration was postponed after authorities shut down a private gathering in a gay nightclub.

A Ugandan Pride celebration was cancelled abruptly last week after police raided a private club and forced LGBTs to leave the event.

Pride organizers said the Aug. 6 event would be postponed following a raid at a nightclub in Kampala. While many were arrested, there have been few reports that any of the charges will stick. Attendees accused the Ugandan authorities of brutally singling them out for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

At least one young man reportedly jumped from the club to escape the police. He now requires surgery.

Uganda's ethics and integrity minister Simon Lokodo said in a statement that "the promotion of 'gay' activities is unwelcome" and accused the Pride event of trying to recruit people to be gay--a charge often leveled against the LGBT community.

"We are aware that there are inducements, including money, being offered to young people to promote the practice," he said.

Ugandan LGBTs denied his accusations.

Uganda became infamous with a "kill the gays" bill that the country's Supreme Court overturned in 2014. However, homosexuality is still illegal in Uganda and punishable with up to life in prison.

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