Moses Kimbugwe is seeing another man, but their prospects for marriage — or even romance — aren’t great. While a growing number of American states — and other nations in Europe and elsewhere — now recognize gay marriages, Kimbugwe does not live in one of those places. He is a gay rights activist living in Uganda, where parliament passed a law in December that calls for a life prison sentence for certain acts of what it calls “aggravated homosexuality.”
“I am dating someone, and I know many friends of mine who have boyfriends, however they are short-lived,” he said. “Gay life is challenging, scarily … to the extent that at the moment, even close friends, family members … have abandoned gay people for fear of their lives too, with the notion that the law might also catch them.”
At a time when many people are lauding the progress gay rights activists have made in predominately Western nations — and especially on the issue of gay marriage — some believe the positive headlines are overlooking the still forbidding global picture. But, perhaps more troubling, Americans and Europeans need not look so far as Uganda — or the more than one-third of the world where being gay is illegal — to find LGBT people living in fear.