It’s a sad day when a person is murdered for no other reason than being gay. It’s happened many times in the United States, which continues to shock my sensibilities because this is supposed to be a civilized and enlightened country.
Yesterday, it happened on another continent. David Kato, who was an activist with Sexual Minorities Uganda, was beaten to death outside his home. News sources report that he was repeatedly struck with what may have been a hammer.
In Uganda, lesbians and gays literally take their lives in their own hands if they dare to admit their sexuality. They will face harassment and violence. Gay activists like Kato have been trying to stop the hatred and violence. For Kato, the sacrifice was his own life.
Last year, Rolling Stone (not related to the U.S. magazine) published a list of persons believed to be gay. Kato and two other activists petitioned the court to ban the publication from continuing the discriminatory – and dangerous policy – and they won. However, the damage had already been done and violence against gays escalated.
As if this were not sad enough already, it appears that the upswing in violence and hatred toward gays was infused by three anti-gay evangelists from the United States who visited Uganda in 2009 with the sole purpose of pushing for a law that would make homosexuality illegal. They believe that homosexuality can be “cured” and spewed forth enough lies about lesbians and gays to turn the climate into one of fear. This is obviously not a new concept for anti-gay zealots but it’s time those same zealots took responsibility for how their anti-gay rhetoric takes innocent lives.
Please take the time to read the following articles and pass them along to others. Together, we can spread awareness that hate kills.
Americans’ Role Seen in Uganda Anti-Gay Push [NY Times]
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copyright 2011 Irene C. Olszewski