posted at 23:50
Author Name: Amy Fallon
Secret lives: an evening in a Ugandan gay bar
For six hours on a Sunday night that fly by all too fast, the venue, with its grass thatched roof and flashing fluorescent disco floor lights, becomes a haven for Uganda's gay community who meet here to drink, dance and more. Last December the Ugandan parliament passed an anti-gay bill that stipulated repeat homosexuals should be jailed for life, outlawed the promotion of homosexuality and required people to denounce gays. After the law was passed, the bar was shut by police for two months. In the lead-up to the anti-gay bill being passed by Ugandan legislators last December, Chris stayed away from the bar. For a year Steve, 19, a full-time DJ, has been supplying the Ugandan, Nigerian and Western music for the bar. The female owner of the bar was "Caring enough" to think "We just found ourselves in these shoes," says Nick. MPs are attempting to reintroduce the measures in parliament, and under a standing colonial-era Penal Code, gay Ugandans can still be jailed for "Carnal knowledge against the order of nature". "Can you imagine, that in a very sociable country like Uganda, where bars are open Monday-to-Monday, we have only six hours in a week to be ourselves?" says Onziema.

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