Uganda Paper Encourages Hate Crime–Targeting 100 Homosexuals with Headline “Hang Them”
May 10, 2011, Update: After abandoning the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in early 2011, the Ugandan Parliament decided to proceed with the legislation after a wave of street protests swept the nation in response to rising food and fuel prices. If passed, the Bill would undoubtedly lead to more discrimination, persecution, and violence against Uganda’s LGBTI individuals. Join HRF and Julius Kaggwa: Oppose the Anti-Homosexuality Bill NOW. A Uganda paper published a list of prominent gay professionals, with a banner over the photos calling to “Hang Them.” Names and addresses of each were included. 4 have been attacked, others forced into hiding. This incident comes as a reminder of the backlash against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) persons that has skyrocketed since the introduction of the anti-homosexuality bill [pdf] last year. Read more about the bill and anti-gay movement. Human Rights First is working with local activist Julius Kaggwa this week to draw the attention of U.S. policymakers to this disturbing trend and outline what the international community can do to help protect the rights of gays and sexual minorities. Kaggwa, himself a sexual minority, has experienced multiple forms of violent discrimination, which he detailed in a Huffington Post blog remarking on the intensification of violence following the introduction of the bill:
In an attempt to determine the cause of my sexual variance, a dentist once asked me if there were witches in my family. In addition to my dentist’s unwelcome inquiries, I’ve had my house set on fire, had several demands for invasive body searches as a prerequisite for job interviews and church membership, and lost a job due to slanderous media coverage about my sexuality. My personal experiences speak to the harassment that affects LGBT Ugandans every day, and the passage of this bill will weaken Ugandan democracy and ruin the lives of countless individuals who are already suffering under oppressive anti-homosexual legislation.
Kaggwa will receive our annual Human Rights Award on Thursday, and will talk this Wednesday in DC on how to combat this disturbing trend. We are cohosting the event with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.