Thursday, 21 October 2010

Shocking homophobic hatred in Uganda

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Frankly, "homphobia" seems like too mild a word for this, as what we're really dealing with here is persecution and pure hatred. A Ugandan newspaper called Rolling Stone (nothing to do with the magazine, obviously) has published a front page "story" headlined "Hang them: 100 Pictures of Uganda's Top Homos Leak", along with the names and addresses of those 100 people. According to the Washington Post report, since it was published on 9 October, at least four of them have been attacked, with others forced into hiding.

As the Washington Post notes, this follows the international outrage last year over proposed Ugandan legislation which would have criminalised homosexuality and introduced the death penalty for some same-sex acts. That legislation never became law, thanks in large part to international pressure, but Uganda remains a dangerous place to be gay. As Telegraph blogger Tom Chivers points out, the American evangelical Scott Lively has a lot to answer for regarding this hatred, having exported his homophobia and ideas regarding "gay therapy" to the country and, in the process, inspiring the anti-gay legislation.

Amidst this hatred, Ugandan gay activists, such as Sexual Minorities Uganda, and grass-roots humanists are bravely fighting for tolerance – they deserve our full support.
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