News24

Uganda gays campaign against violence

2011-08-19 16:05

Kampala - Ugandan gay rights activists on Friday began a nationwide campaign against violence in a country where homophobia is deeply rooted.

"We are aiming at that person who has never seen a gay or who hates gays so that they know that we are humans and that we are also parents, teachers, lawyers and doctors," campaign organiser Julian Pepe told the German Press Agency dpa.

"We want them to know that besides what we do in the bedroom, we are also humans and need respect," said Pepe, who heads the umbrella organisation, Sexual Minorities Uganda.

Posters in English and local languages - with messages such as "Uganda is for all of us" and "My body is not a battle field" - were being handed out on the streets and put up on walls.

Ugandan gays say they face harassment not only from members of the public but also from religious leaders and the government.

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill was suspended in the legislative house only following an international uproar and after several donor countries threatened to withdraw aid if it was passed.

Activists hope that by approaching people they can overcome the anti-gay sentiment. "The volunteer approaches a person and says, 'I am gay so do not fear me.' People are beginning to understand us. We are fighting against this violence against gays and lesbians," Pepe said.

A prominent gay rights activist, David Kato, was beaten to death earlier this year in his home near Kampala. The murder prompted global condemnation.

Kato was one of several activists who had sued Uganda's Rolling Stone magazine, which published photographs and personal details of homosexuals alongside a headline that said, "Hang Them: They are after our kids." He was also a strident opponent of the anti-gay bill.

Comments
  • I Like Everything - 2011-08-19 16:19

    I like that they're standing up for their rights

      Anton - 2011-08-19 16:51

      Sure, Unfortunately it is thugs like Mugabe, that stir the hatred against gays. In a perfect world, they should be charged at the ICC !!!

      PinkAndProud - 2011-08-19 20:32

      Here's laughin' at yer.

  • zaatheist - 2011-08-19 18:53

    There is no difference between the current homophobes and the christian racist bigots who supported slavery 150 years ago, Christian racists now wish to apply the same discrimination against homosexuals and other people who differ from them. The bigotry and cruelty is identical. They have created a god in their own image and assigned their prejudice to that god, creating a god that shares their prejudice and who, then, sanctions and defends the unjustified harms that bigots like them would cause to "those who are different." If only people got this militant about education reform or poverty...or something else that actually MATTERS...imagine how much we could accomplish!

      I Like Everything - 2011-08-19 19:37

      I like atheism.. I like it more than religion.

  • PinkAndProud - 2011-08-19 20:31

    Well done to the gays and lesbians.

  • zaatheist - 2011-08-20 04:27

    This article, which deals with religion, has been up for some time but no Christians have commented to defend their position. Usually Matt and his pals have plenty to say to justify discrimination. Perhaps some might feel a tinge of shame.

  • Anton - 2011-08-20 08:14

    This article also shows how far we have progressed in SA , where the ones who think and/or behave different than the majority, are free to do so, and are full members of our soceity. Tolerance is one of the main pillars of a democracy!!!

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