As ‘Pride Month’ gets underway in many corners of the world, the police in Uganda have reportedly stormed a same-sex wedding and arrested 44 guests – including the bride and groom – saying they could potentially spread infectious diseases.
The incident took place in the ward of Ochen in the municipality of Nansana in Uganda’s Central Region on 31st May, one day before ‘Pride Month’ in June. Homosexuality is currently illegal in Uganda.
Luke Owoyesigyire, spokesperson for the Kampala Metropolitan Police, said on Monday that officers received a tip-off that a group of young men believed to be gay, banned under the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014, was taking part in a wedding in Ochen.
Owoyesigyire added: “Immediately a team of police officers proceeded to the scene and a group of 38 adult males and six females were found conducting a ceremony at around 1pm that looked to be a wedding.”
The police spokesperson said: “All the men had makeup and some were dressed as female in dresses and wigs.”
Owoyesigyire continued: “At the same function, gifts were recovered. These included suitcases, a TV, assorted gifts like sugar, salt, pineapples, and many other gifts normally given at traditional functions.”
Owoyesigyire also claimed that were used and unused condoms found at the scene and accused guests of failing to observe COVID-19 measures such as wearing face masks and social distancing.
The police spokesperson confirmed that everyone at the alleged same-sex wedding was arrested and being held in custody.
Charles Twine, spokesperson for the Criminal Investigations Directorate, said the detainees will be charged with carrying out a negligent act that could lead to the spread infectious diseases.
The arrests took place as just as many countries around the world celebrate ‘Pride’ during the month of June.
The Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014 was passed by the Parliament of Uganda in December 2013, prohibiting sexual relations between people of the same sex.
The act was dubbed the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill in western media due to the death penalty clauses included in the original version.