Making a difference
For all LGBTI+ persons in Uganda
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SMUG exists in order to inform, link, coordinate and influence, we are a bold and assertive LGBTIQ movement, shifting narratives and shaping actions for justice and equality contributing to a just andDonate Now
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The Work Continues
Fighting for LGBTI freedomOver the course of 17 years, we have played a hand in founding over 10 organisations, served more than 1000 LGBTI persons in Uganda. Hosted the first-ever pride in Eastern Africa. Won our right to privacy case—created room for a vibrant LGBTI+ movement in Uganda.
Improved community outreachOver the years, through our React project, we have relocated and assistant over 500 Queer Ugandans in need.
Through the years
2014Uganda President Yoweri K. Museveni signs the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law on the 24th of February. This led to over 300 LGBT identifying persons fleeing the country for safety in Kenya. Pepe Julian Onziema is awarded the Stonewall Hero of the Year Award in London, UK. LGBTQ activists Frank Mugisha, Pepe Julian Onziema and Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, join a ten-person petition challenging the constitutionality of the Anti-Homosexuality Act. By August of 2014, the Constitutional Court of Uganda declared the law unconstitutional.
2012Frank Mugisha, Pepe Julian Onziema and Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera sue Hon. Fr. Simon Lokodo and the State for infringement on the right to assembly and association. SMUG sues anti-gay evangelist Pastor Scott Lively through the Center for Constitutional Rights, for crimes against LGBTI Ugandans. Pepe Julian Onziema receives the Clinton Global Initiative Award for Civil Society Leadership along side Bishop Ssenyonjo of St. Paul's Reconciliation Centre.
2011The case against Giles Muhame and Rolling Stone tabloid is ruled in favour of the LGBTI activists. David Kato Kisule, the Advocacy and Litigation Officer, is brutally murdered in his home in Mukono on 26th January. September: SMUG wins the Rafto Prize handed to Executive Director Frank Mugisha and his team in Bergen, Norway. October: Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera receives the Martin Ennals Award November: Frank Mugisha wins the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. He receives the award in a ceremony in Washington DC. US Secretary of State John Kerry handed him the award with Donna Brazile among the dignitaries.
2010Rolling Stone tabloid publishes "100 Top Homosexuals - 'Hang them!'" Three activists kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, Pepe Julian Onziema and David Kato Kisule open lawsuit against Giles Muhame and the tabloid for violation of privacy. The case was heard in the High Court of Uganda by His Lordship Francis Musota.
2009Hon. David Bahati tables the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009 as a private members Bill in parliament of Uganda. SMUG convenes feminists and civil society allies to fight the Anti Homosexuality Bill. This convening led to the formation of the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law. Hosted at Akina Mama wa Afrika and later by Refugee Law Project.
2008Three activists - Pepe Julian Onziema, Val Kalende and Usaam Mukwaya arrested and detained for five days before being charged with criminal trespass during a peaceful demonstration at the International HIV Implementers' Meeting held in Kampala. The charges were later on dropped unconditionally.
2007August: SMUG launches a 45-day media (coming out) campaign. Activists were clad in face masks to demonstrate that anyone could be LGBT therefore urged the public to treat humans with respect of their diversity.
2005SMUG's founding Director Victor J. Mukasa's home is raided by police, the local council, and all confiscated work materials. Victor's guest from Kenya Oyoo Yvon (Badru), was detained and humiliated at the police station.
2004Formation of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) as a coalition to promote the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual persons, in access to HIV/AIDS information and services. Ten gay, lesbian and bisexual led organisations attended the meeting that led to the formation of SMUG, namely; Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG), Open Door, GALA, MUSLA (will get the others)
1999Uganda President YK Museveni goes on record to say there are no homosexuals in Uganda, but if seen, they should be killed or be jailed for life. This followed an alleged "gay wedding" in a Wandegeya salon.
1996The Secrets Magazine, a local tabloid, publishes a headlining story - "Ugandan Lesbian with no Apologies". Probably the first public article about homosexuality. The twisted story was about Pepe as a teenager.
News & Commentary
Sexual Minorities Uganda Report on the impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTIQ Community Individuals In Uganda.
Sexual Minorities Uganda Hosts Photovoice Exhibition.
Empowerment Through Crafts: A Shelter Community-Based Program by SMUG
On 20th January 2022, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) in partnership with the British High Commission jointly hosted their first economic development class with the community members of their shelter homes.Read Article