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Uganda paid US PR firm 'to clean up image' after anti-gay bill

A person holds an umbrella bearing the colors of the rainbow as others wave flags during the the first gay pride rally since the overturning of a tough anti-homosexuality law, which authorities have appealed, in Entebbe, Uganda, August 9, 2014A row over a law banning homosexuality in Uganda has been reignited after it emerged that the government paid a US public relations firm to offset negative publicity, a report said Monday. Uganda’s Observer newspaper said the government had spent 614 million shillings ($206,000, 174,000 euros) “to prop up Uganda’s image” after it was “tarnished by the Anti-Homosexuality Act”. It said that many MPs in the east African nation’s parliament, where support is strong for tough anti-gay legislation, were now refusing to approve the government’s payment to Scribe Strategies and Advisors, a Washington-based lobbying firm. “It’s quite unbelievable that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could use this money to clear Uganda’s image, yet us as Ugandans we are against this issue of homosexuality,” Florence Nebanda, one of several reportedly furious MPs, was quoted as saying.

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