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Ugandan Minister Fails to Have Gay-Inclusive Festival Shut Down


The festival was ultimately cleared to proceed.

Thursday kicks off the MTN Nyege Nyege music festival in Uganda. It's a popular event that "stands for fun and curiosity and strives towards inclusivity and wonder." With Uganda's rocky history of LGBTQ inclusion, a festival like this is a rarity.

So naturally, someone would try to get it cancelled. In a letter to the country's minister of internal affairs, Simon Lokodo, Uganda's minister for ethics and integrity recommended the festival be shut down. In the letter that's been circulating Twitter, he stated:

"I have recieved credible information from religious leaders, opinion leaders, and local authorities that the purpose of this festival, in the last two years, has been compromised to accomodate the celebration and recruitment of young people into homosexuality, and LGBT movement.

"Whereas the anti-homosexuality law was challenged in the Courts of Law, the practice of deviant sexual behaviors have never been condoned in this country. As such, it is our responsibility as government to protect the citizens against such vices."

Luckily for Ugandan queer folk and music-goers, the Lokodo's request to cancel the event was denied. The government's media centre took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce that the festival will proceed, taking place September 6-9 at the Nile Discovery Beach Resort.

According to other tweets, Lokodo and the festival organizers have found middle ground. He asked the festival attendees take into account "requirements for safety, security, law and order, ethical behavior, health, and sanitation."

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