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Ugandan Gay Rights Activist Beaten to Death

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Posted on Jan 27, 2011

In this still from the BBC’s video coverage of the murder of David Kato (right), the Ugandan gay rights activist talks about his physical injuries suffered in assaults in his homeland.

David Kato, a 43-year-old gay rights activist in Uganda, was murdered in his home near Kampala on Wednesday, less than four months after his picture was published in a Ugandan tabloid under the words “Hang Them” in a story about gays “recruiting” local schoolchildren.  —KA


The BBC’s Joshua Mmali, in Kampala, says it is unclear whether the death is linked to the Rolling Stone campaign but police have said there is no connection between Mr Kato’s activism and his death.

The police say that though they have arrested one suspect, the main suspect - who they say lived with Mr Kato - remains on the run.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda, with punishments of 14 years in prison. An MP recently tried to increase the penalties to include the death sentence in some cases.

There has been a recent spate of “iron-bar killings” in Mukono, where Mr Kato lived, in which people have been assaulted with pieces of metal.

Witnesses have told the BBC that a man entered Mr Kato’s home near Kampala and beat him to death before leaving.

His Sexual Minorities Uganda (Smug) group said Mr Kato had been receiving death threats since his name, photograph and address were published by Rolling Stone last year.

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By berniem, January 28, 2011 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

The Amer. fundamentalists alluded to by “Tim” are none other than the Hon. Sens. Inhofe & Coburn on behalf of the “Family” Coe and their reactionary cohort at the “church” of the “C” St. conservatives which also feature such notables past and present as Ensign, Pickering, Pits, Doyle, Sanford, Stupak, and Brownback among, unfortunately, too many others not to give pause in contemplation of the health of our “democracy”!

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By Jim Yell, January 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just the other day I read a KC news report that a Fundamentalist Preacher in the KC area was one who traveled to Uganda to promote violence against gay people. As we can see his help in this matter with the murder of this man in Uganda, can’t he be prosecuted on the same bases that someone who stands in a crowd and promotes violence can be brought before a court?

What a bunch of tiresome people and every day I read another article which shows the lengths the right wing in this country will go to tread on others protected rights, to send tax money into their own pockets and to promote violence and dictatorship. It is so crazy that we read in the news that a family traveling with a child who had a 3 inch toy soldier in his luggage was told it could not pass to travel. This is so stupid it makes me want to cry. So it is not hard to understand how even more dangerous it is when we have someone telling people they may kill other people merely for existing. We are on the edge of a complete breakdown of society thanks to ignorant right wing movements in the country. People who do not realize how important and protected they are by the very guarantees and laws they are trying to over turn.

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By Gmonst, January 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

It should be noted that the Rolling Stone mentioned in this article is a Ugandan tabloid newspaper and not the music magazine.

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tropicgirl's avatar

By tropicgirl, January 28, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

I think Rolling Stone has blame here. It was entirely irresponsible for them to think this would not happen. Even the government had to put a stop to it because they were afraid of more killings, due to their irresponsible publishing.

Did those ass**les help pick the name, also?

In the end, Rolling Stone did more to hurt the gay cause, than help. Retards. Sleep well.

God bless this poor man.

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By RAE, January 28, 2011 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

Are homosapiens so fundamentally stupid that it is required we go through this same, wretched, retarded scenario country by country by country?

If, as Tim suggests, this hatred of anything non-heterosexual in society is the result of “teachings” by Christian fundamentalists, isn’t it about time we rounded up these fantasy freaks and “taught” them something about being human, using whatever means are required to achieve that end?

I hope I live long enough to see a law enacted, world wide, that a full 25-year incarceration at hard labor would be the sentence for anyone convicted of promoting, in any way, the public discrimination of those of us who don’t fit some trumped-up “norm” of society. Anyone who privately wants nothing to do with a “homosexual” is perfectly within his/her rights to PRIVATELY discriminate, in spite of the fact that holding such views is a sign to all just how ignorant and bigoted and perverted that person is.

BTW, Ugandan officials, you must know the result of imposing a 14-year jail term for performing a homosexual act is GUARANTEED to result in 14 more years of homosexual acts. It’s my experience and belief that most men need sex and most will eventually get it in whatever way is available to them - women, goats, watermelons, and yes, other men. What they WON’T do is DO WITHOUT.

“There are none so blind as those who will not see.” (John Heywood, in 1546, paraphrasing Jeremiah Chapter 5: verse 21, written over 1500 years earlier.)

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By Tim, January 28, 2011 at 12:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is so sad. Particular (American) Christian fundamentalist who have visited Uganda have sewn this hate through their “seminars.” This makes my stomach turn.

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