American Neal Gottlieb climbed Uganda’s highest peak and placed a rainbow flag at the summit to protest the enactment of an anti-gay law that further criminalizes homosexuality in the country.
In a Facebook post about his action, Gottlieb says he wrote to Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, telling him, “Your country’s highest point is no longer its soil, its snow or a summit marker, but rather a gay pride flag waving brilliantly, shining down from above as a sign of protest and hope on behalf of the many thousands of Ugandans that you seek to repress and the many more that understand the hideous nature of your repressive legislation.”
He continues, “As the president of a nation you have the opportunity to be a great man and lead your country forward. Instead, you choose to hold your people back like the imperialists, the dictators and the warlords that have held Africa back generation after generation. The people that you wish to imprison are the same people who can help Uganda grow into a great nation.
“If you don’t like said flag on your highest peak,” he adds, “I urge you to climb up and take it down.”
Gottlieb’s protest has attracted both positive and negative responses. He told BuzzFeed that some people have said his action “echoes of imperialism” and could be harmful to LGBT Ugandans. Others, including Frank Mugisha, of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), called Gottlieb’s move a “good thing” and a show of “support and solidarity.”