Thursday, January 27, 2011

David Kato - GLBT activist murdered

I have been critical of social policy issues pertaining to GLBT rights in the U.S., but I am well aware that I am damn lucky to live in the industrialized world. The rights of all minorities (GLBT included) are non-existent in most developing nations.

One such situation is the ongoing human rights violations in Uganda. Most Americans probably could not identify Uganda on a map - let alone be bothered by what is happening there. However, news that David Kato was murdered made me take pause. Unlike other African activists like Steven Biko and Nelson Mandela, movies and accolades are not likely to follow this man, but out of respect to Mr. Kato and to remind anyone who bothers to read this blog how brave he truly was, I wanted to write a brief post.

David Kato, was a leading advocate for GLBT rights from Uganda where being gay is tantamount to a death sentence. Think I'm exaggerating? The Ugandan Parliament is currently considering a bill to execute anyone who is gay. Can you imagine what it must be like for a scared, gay adolescent (let alone adult) living in such a society? Being an outspoken advocate for human rights / GLBT rights in such a hostile environment is a bravery I can respect but could never hope to replicate.According to the NYT, on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Kato was beaten to death with a hammer. Val Kalende, the chairwoman of one of Uganda’s gay rights groups said, “David’s death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S. evangelicals in 2009. The Ugandan government and the so-called U.S. evangelicals must take responsibility for David’s blood.”

It was sad to read this report in the NYT today, and it was shameful to read the reference to U.S. evangelicals (not evangelicals - but those from my home country) as guilty by association in Ms. Kalende's opinion.


Poetry of the Day said...

yea, evangalist are kinda evil

Loki's Log said...

It is inconceivable that a country would consider passing such a resolution. We are all shamed and lessened when people are murdered for their beliefs. A hammer. My God. I had not heard this story and thank you for posting on it.

and then there was METAL said...

this is sad

JCLL said...

This is a big problem all over our continent. Even here in "democratically free" South Africa, hundreds of black younsters are murdered or raped daily coz they are gay. The african culture is extremely hostile towards gay humans. That is why I am wearing my FCKH8 shirt proudly everyday. Its the one that says "Some dudes marry dudes, get over it" and its surprising how much positive reaction I get. But this is in the city, not in the rural homosexual killing fields.

Wonder Man said...

great post. This is such a tragedy

wozzel said...

it really is a sad situation. imagine that fear? not cool, and i live on the same continent.

reminds us to be grateful.

Mauro Paim said...

Human Rights Campaign is circulating a petition to have "fundamentalist pastors Carl Ellis Jenkins, Lou Engle and Scott Lively, to quickly abandon their hateful and dangerous anti-LGBT rhetoric and actions."

We should more than export spiffy sneakers and bibles.