David Kato

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David Kato | BBC | 14449

Gay Activist David Kato of Kampala, Uganda was killed on January 26, 2011. The local police said he had been killed in an attempted robbery but local gays were adamant that Kato was killed because he was gay.

Guardian | 14450

One of the few openly gay men in Uganda, and the most vocal local critic of the proposed legislation, Kato had told close friends of increased harassment since the court victory on 3 January, and of receiving warnings that people were going to “deal with him”. Frank Mugisha, a close friend and colleague at the human rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda, where Kato was the advocacy officer, said: “He mentioned increased threats – a lot more than usual. He was even directly threatened outside the court.”

Mr Kato’s funeral | Guardian | 14451

Kato began campaigning for gay rights in Uganda in 1998 when virtually nobody was “out”. Homosexuality was illegal, and offensive to most Ugandans. The gay rights movement in Uganda grew, with Kato and his colleagues at Sexual Minorities Uganda calling for gays to be included in national HIV-awareness and treatment programmes. The higher profile created enemies. Local religious leaders launched campaigns alleging that the gay community was seeking to “recruit” schoolchildren. Their efforts were boosted by visits from several homophobic American preachers.

Ugandan politicians then joined in. MP David Bahati introduced the anti-homosexuality bill to parliament in 2009. Besides calling for life imprisonment and the death sentence for gay people, the bill requires all Ugandans to report “homosexual activity” within 24 hours or face police action.


SP

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