Playground removes Rainbow Tower after parents claim it’s ‘satanic’

Rainbow children's playground tower removed after parents claim it's'satanic'

The color scheme of this children’s jungle gym in Entebbe, central Uganda, has been criticized by parents for promoting LGBTQ+ rights (Image: Facebook)

A rainbow-colored tower has been removed from a children’s playground in Uganda after parents complained about its alleged pro-LGBTQ+ symbolism.

Entebbe Mayor Fabrice Brad Rulinda said the climbing frame had been scrapped as part of “a bid to refurbish the children’s park”. […] and create a safe environment for our children”.

He continued: “For years the children of Uganda have understood the rainbow only as a beautiful arc of color and it biblically reflects the majesty of God.

“It is unfortunate that certain movements have chosen to use the rainbow to represent and reflect certain actions that go against the norms of the people of Uganda.

“We recognize the challenging times in which we must rein in any vices that would corrupt our children’s minds and against this background the concerns expressed by the public have been heeded and the rainbow painting has been removed from the children’s park.”

He added, “We appreciate the vigilance and patriotism in protecting our heritage and our country’s future by protecting the country’s children.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, a very conservative Christian-majority country, and carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison.

MPs attempted to pass legislation in 2013 that would have increased the potential penalty for “serious homosexuality” to life imprisonment.

The law was later rejected by the courts after widespread international outrage, with some countries threatening to withdraw aid to Uganda.

There have been no prosecutions for same-sex relationships in recent years, but the country’s government recently launched an initiative to investigate the alleged promotion of LGBTQ+ rights in Ugandan schools.

The move came after the regional government in Kasese, western Uganda, drew national ire over alleged plans to introduce legislation that would recognize the rights of sexual minorities.

Last year, authorities shut down Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a leading human rights organization in the country, over false claims that the organization was acting illegally.

SMUG has been active for nearly fifteen years, with some notable successes, including a court order against a national newspaper in 2010 to prevent editors from publishing the names of gay Ugandan men under the “Hang Them” headline.

Responding to the Entebbe authorities’ recent decision to remove the tower from the children’s playground, Emmanuel Mugabe, a representative of the National Parents’ Association of Uganda, told AFP: “We are glad that the rainbow image was removed before we could remove it ourselves have removed. ‘

He further described the jungle gym’s color scheme as “satanic” and warned that it signaled the “invasion of homosexuality through the manipulation of children’s minds.”

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Justin Scaccy

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