Kuchus in Uganda

When Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law on February 24, 2014, local LGBT-rights campaigners feared that their years of activism had just been erased. The kuchu population—a Swahili word appropriated by the LGBT community that roughly translates to "queer"—began fleeing the country in droves, seeking asylum in slightly more tolerant neighboring states, Europe, and America. Those who stayed were forced to take their personal lives even further underground. The few community gatherings and safe spaces that had once existed for kuchus abruptly vanished.

Then, on August 1, the Constitutional Court struck down the law on a procedural technicality. While some argue that the decision is a huge disappointment in its failure to address the law as a human rights violation, it still represents a victory for the evolution of LGBT rights and a small step in the gradual destigmatization and decriminalization of sexual minorities.

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