Uganda is among the most anti-gay countries in the world, and has received more attention than most during the five years it debated legislation that came to be known as the “Kill The Gays” bill. President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill — which replaced the death penalty with life in prison — into law earlier this year, sparking international outrage from the LGBT community and its supporters, and praise from the religious right.
One California man decided to protest in a unique way.
In an open letter to Uganda’s president titled, “What I did on vacation” and posted to Facebook, Neal Gottlieb writes:
Dear President Museveni of Uganda,
On April 16, 2014, after a 6-day climb, I summited your country’s tallest peak, Mount Stanley’s 16,753 foot tall Margherita Peak, and mounted a gay pride flag at its summit in protest of your country’s criminalization of homosexuality. 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 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.
Gottlieb, aside from being a hero, brave, and wise, also has a day job.
Via email, Gottlieb told The New Civil Rights Movement, “I am the Founding Twin of an ice cream company called Three Twins Ice Cream that sells ice cream at our California scoop shops and nationwide through groceries.”
He adds that he’s “just a recreational climber,” but this epic act should entitle him to a far more important title.
Was this a dangerous act? Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality law provides for jail terms, some 14-years, some life in prison, for various act of homosexuality or homosexual “propaganda.”
Was Gottlieb worried?
“I was definitely concerned about the consequences, as promoting homosexuality, however that is interpreted, can result in some serious time in Ugandan prison…5-7 years I believe.”
He says he “concealed the flag within a decoy flag (Republic of California) in a pocket in my backpack that a search wouldn’t necessarily reveal and was prepared to play dumb if caught. Knowing that there would only be a handful of Ugandan guides at the summit, I figured that they wouldn’t know what the flag stood for…”
You can read his letter here:
And if reading all that made you hungry, how about some Three Twins ice cream?
Hat tip: Bilerico
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