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Uganda bar owner arrested for gay-themed play

Ad for "The River & the Mountain"
Ad for “The River & the Mountain”

A bar owner  in Uganda  was arrested today for hosting the play “The River & The Mountain,” which has a gay businessman as its main character, journalist Andy Kopsa reports.

Tilapila Bar owner David Cecil was accused of showing a “gay themed play,” Kopsa said.

“The River & the Mountain” is about a gay businessman living in a homophobic country.  Ads for it describe the play as “A Ugandan comedy drama that tackles the intersection of religion, politics and sexuality.”

The play had been scheduled for the National Theatre of Uganda but performances there were canceled after government officials objected.

The play, by British playwright Beau Hopkins, “has provoked controversy not only for its sympathetic portrayal of gay people, but also because it suggests that much of the anger and hatred has been whipped up by politicians and religious leaders for their own purposes,” The Guardian reported. It quoted Hopkins as saying:

“The local media seem to have agreed not to talk about it, which is disappointing. We’re also particularly disappointed that it won’t be staged at the National Theatre, as there it would have reached more Ugandans.”

For more information, see the full article “Owner of Tilapia Bar in Kampala Arrested for showing ‘gay themed play’ The River and The Mountain”

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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