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Openly Gay Ugandan Advocate Beaten to Death

Openly Gay Ugandan Advocate Beaten to Death

Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato has been beaten to death, according to the BBC.  Kato, a well known gay rights activist and officer with Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), had his picture, name and address plastered across a Ugandan tabloid in October with the headline “100 Pictures of Uganda’s Top Homos Leak.” ¯ The subheading on the cover read “Hang them.” 

The magazine, called Rolling Stone, has a circulation of about 2,000 and has no association with the United States publication. 

TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition asking the UK to grant asylum to Brenda Namigadde!

Kato and SMUG had gotten a permanent injunction forcing Rolling Stone to cease publishing names and photos in their tabloid, but it seems that may have come too late. The police say that they believe Kato was killed in a robbery gone wrong.

Three evangelical missionaries from the United States came under fire last March where they, according to The New York Times, discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution”¯ whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.” 

Shortly after the evangelicals presented in Uganda, the Anti-Homosexuality bill was introduced in Parliament.  The bill would put to death those who had been convicted of homosexuality. After much protest, the death penalty was dropped from the bill, the entirety of which seems to have been shelved.

Reuters was able to speak with Rolling Stone editor Giles Muhame, who said “There has been a lot of crime, it may not be because he is gay.  We want the government to hang people who promote homosexuality, not for the public to attack them.”

David Kato’s death is especially terrifying for 29-year-old Brenda Namigadde. Namigadde is a lesbian in the U.K. who will be deported back to Uganda on Friday. She has not been granted asylum because officials say that there is not sufficient proof that she is a lesbian. Namigadde is understandably terrified, telling The Advocate “It’s really very scary to go back to Uganda. My life is gone as well. I am in danger. [Kato] is the one who was trying to stand for people.”

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71 comments

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5:14PM PST on Feb 17, 2011

@Mrs. Shakespeare...People like you caused this death. Being gay is NOT a life style..People are born gay...it is not a choice. But you CHOOSE to hate or as you put it "NEVER AGREE WITH". Good...you dont agree with. who needs you. I wish nothing but the worst for you and all like you.

6:27PM PST on Jan 31, 2011

Very sad to read. I will sign the petition. How insane is that to post who is gay & all there info.

4:06AM PST on Jan 31, 2011

Have you seen the petition on "corrective rape for lesbeans" in South Africa.? It's horrific. Maybe you can sign this one, too. www.avaaz.org

2:18AM PST on Jan 31, 2011

Hmmm! I am Ugandan and not surprised at what the media is trying to portray. Kato was gay. He was murdered. A local tabloid had called upon the community to hang him...too many coincidences, right? Well the guy who used to chauffer Kato was arrested not so long ago and in his possession was found lots of property believed to have belonged to Kato, including his shoes. It is believed he had just withdrawn a large sum of money from the bank,...and the story goes on.
Well much as we cannot rule out the possibility that u all are looking at, we cannot come to the coclusion that he was killed because he was gay.

11:01PM PST on Jan 30, 2011

Thanks for the info.

2:49AM PST on Jan 30, 2011

There are the Hateful-Faithful in every religion - not just Christian. Extremism/militancy in any movement should be called out - most loudly by those "moderates" within it. And those who incite violence by targeting individuals with inflammatory terms like "baby-killers" or publishing names, addresses, faces of those they believe worthy of death, should be tried as accessories to murder.

2:27AM PST on Jan 30, 2011

Whatever happened to the religion of peace? Why don't they ask themselves WWJD? Certainly not beat some poor guy to death because of his stance on homosexuality.

Christianty is great, but when are they going to put it into practice?

6:05PM PST on Jan 29, 2011

The evangelical leaders cannot possibly be surprised at the reaction of the Ugandans to their dissemination of hatred. They can only be surprised at the world reaction to them. They weren't duped; the people & government of Uganda & elsewhere have been consistently duped, by religious zealotry. As for concern that gay Ugandans could lose their lives for simply being who they are; I say unequivocally; what a crock. Never mind the history of lynchings for which no right wing faith based racist has ever been held accountable; consider the more recent , albeit easier to cover up; opposition to HIV research; successfully implemented by fierce opposition to any public funding for the development of treatment options. End results? Thousands of people were thus denied even a fighting chance at survival. When you abandon the higher elements of humanity, or God's gifts, if you like; for the atrocities outlined in the verses of Leviticus; you heart turns to stone. When one considers the most universal fear amongst human beings; that being; what happens to us; if anything; after we expire; imagine how much more terrifying it must be for a people who are culturally superstitious economically deprived. Easy pickings.

3:43PM PST on Jan 29, 2011

petition signed

12:02PM PST on Jan 29, 2011

American evangelists are supporting Uganda's view, and are responsible for violence like this when it happens. Just as with the fear-mongering that contributed to the Tucson shootings, the righties will say that they weren't advocating violence, just their first amendment rights. Well, action words beget real actions.

This is Jan. 29, and she was supposed to be deported on the 28th. Anyone know if the British government grew a heart and let her stay?

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