LGBT activists in Uganda had their Christmas cheer dampened by news that an unidentified vandal or vandals broke into the offices of Sexual Minorities Uganda, the African nation's leading equality group, and stole most of their essential equipment.
Among the stolen items, as listed on their press release:
5 Desk top computers – CPUs and Flat Screens
1 water Dispenser
One gas cooker
One Gas cylinder
One audio recorder
One spy pen
And other unidentified property.
SMUG activists are concerned that the thieves will be able to gain access to member databases on the computers, thereby jeopardizing people's identities and safety in a country where homophobia runs rampant. It could even be used to fuel another one of Uganda's increasingly frequent tabloid tales outing and endangering gay people.
"Realistically this is not in our culture. Because our African sexual values are completely heterosexual, I personally have never seen people fancying it here," he said.
Congratulations to Michael Snell and husband Steven Bridges, the first same-sex couple to marry after marriage equality became legal in Maine after midnight.
From Bangor Daily News:
The first gay couple to be married in the state of Maine took their vows in a short ceremony in the Portland city clerk’s office at approximately 12:25 a.m.
"We finally feel equal and happy to live in Maine," said Steven Bridges, who married Michael Snell less than a half-hour after same sex marriages became legal in the state.
The hand-holding grooms sported purple carnation corsages, matching T-shirts printed with the phrase "love is love," and grins so big they hardly seemed to fit on their faces.
Snell and Bridges, both of Portland, have been together for nine years and had a commitment ceremony six years ago, but late Friday night, they were more than ready to make their love legal. The couple was the first in line to be married beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday in one of the state’s first legal same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Snell, Bridges and all the other couples are just more proof that 2012 was a watershed year for the equality movement, and provide hope that 2013 will be just as bright.
[Image via Gregory Rec at the Portland Press Herald]