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Uganda Held Its First Gay Pride Parade Since A Controversial Anti-Gay Law Was Overturned

The march took place as a strict anti-gay law is being fought over in Uganda's highest court. There were no protesters, and the celebration was invitation-only.

Posted on August 9, 2014, at 2:29 p.m. ET

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Earlier this year, Uganda passed a law that made it illegal to "promote homosexuality" in any way. It was overturned on Aug. 1, and to celebrate Ugandans held their first gay pride parade on Saturday.

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The strict law called for people who are gay to be jailed for life. It was popular in Uganda but called "abominable" by human rights groups.

Stringer / Reuters

There were only a few police officers at the parade, and no protestors.

A few people waved a rainbow flag with a message telling people to "join hands" to end the "genocide" of homosexuals

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Being gay is still illegal in Uganda, and is punishable by a jail sentence.

The difference is that it is no longer illegal to "promote homosexuality." Ugandans are also no longer forced to publicly denounce gays.

Stringer / Reuters

The law triggered a sharp increase in violence against gay people. Gay men and women still face frequent harassment and violence, but the celebration on Saturday had no distruptions.

Stringer / Reuters

Sandra Ntebi, the organizer of the rally, told the Guardian police had given permission for the invitation-only "Uganda Pride" event.

"This event is to bring us together. Everyone was in hiding before because of the anti-homosexuality law," she said. "It is a happy day for all of us, getting together."

Stringer / Reuters

The country's gay pride parade took place in a park near Lake Victoria, near the Ugandan presidential palace.

Stringer / Reuters

"Since I discovered I was gay I feared coming out," Alex Musoke, one of more than 100 people at the event, told the Guardian. "But now [that the law has been thrown out] I have the courage."

Stringer / Reuters

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