crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters
Last week, anti-gay activist Scott Lively whined in a local Boston newspaper that he is being unfairly criticized for his stances against the lgbt community, including playing a huge role in the creation of the infamous “kill the gays” bill in Uganda.
After an incident in Uganda yesterday, he may want to keep his mouth shut:
An outspoken Ugandan gay activist whose picture recently appeared in an anti-gay newspaper under the headline “Hang Them” was beaten to death in his home, Ugandan police said on Thursday.
David Kato, the activist, was one of the most visible defenders of gay rights in a country so homophobic that government leaders have proposed to execute gay people. Mr. Kato and other gay people in Uganda had recently warned that their lives were endangered, and four months ago a local paper called Rolling Stone published a list of gay people, and Mr. Kato’s face was on the front page.
At press time, the police do not view Kato's murder as a hate crime, but a robbery. However some lgbt activists in Uganda disagree:
Gay activists . . . said Mr. Kato was singled out for his outspoken defense of gay rights. “David’s death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S. Evangelicals in 2009,” said Val Kalende, the chairperson of one of Uganda’s gay rights groups, in a statement. “The Ugandan government and the so-called U.S. evangelicals must take responsibility for David’s blood!”
Mrs. Kalende was referring to visits in March 2009 by a group of American evangelicals who held anti-gay rallies and church leaders who authored the anti-gay bill, which is still pending, attended those meetings and said that they had worked with the Americans on their bill.
One of the those activists was Scott Lively He even bragged that the 2009 visits created a “nuclear bomb against the gay agenda in Uganda.”
Kato's death comes almost a month after the arrest of Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa on conspiracy charges. Ssempa, a chief pusher of the country's “Kill the Gays” bill and also for his penchant for showing “scat porn” in church is among eight people who was either detained or sought after an “alleged conspiracy to injure the reputation of Pastor Robert Kayanja of Rubaga Miracle Centre Cathedral, Kampala.”
Ssempa and eight others had been charged with spreading rumors that Kayanja was gay, which is supposedly a common way to settle political scores in Uganda, but has deadlier implications since the controversy about the anti-gay bill.
The webpage Box Turtle Bulletin said the following:
David Kato was a spokesperson for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and one of the plaintiffs (or applicants) in the successful lawsuit seeking a permanent injunction against the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone (no relation to the U.S. publication of the same name). Kato was one of three applicants who had been named by the tabloid under a headline tagged “Hang Them!” His photo appeared on the tabloid’s front cover.
LGBT Ugandans have lived under a menacing atmosphere for more than a decade. The anti-gay hysteria has increased significantly since the introduction of the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill into parliament in 2009. That bill, which remains under review Parliamentary committee, would impose the death penalty on LGBT Ugandans under certain circumstances and criminalize all advocacy by or on behalf of LGBT people. It would also criminalize even knowing someone who is gay if that person fails to report their LGBT loved one to police within 24 hours. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for February 18, and the bill is expected to be considered after Parliament returns for a lame-duck session before the new Parliament begins in May.
Now in all honesty, we do not know the truth behind Kato's murder at the present, so it may be unfair to blame Lively. Certainly he never told people to kill anyone. And according to him, he never agreed with the death penalty facet of the Ugandan anti-gay bill.
But he did fan the flames of hatred towards lgbts in Uganda and that's the funny thing about fanning flames.
They always get out of hand and sooner or later, someone gets burned.