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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in UGANDA...
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we are facing alot of challeges here in Uganda now that the anti homosextuality was passed the people in the communities we leave are using it to harrass us more recently the day Museveni enacted the bill into law one of our own was killed through mob justice in a kampala surburb we appeal to the international community of the LGBT to give a helping and support the gay community in Uganda
many people would think leaving the country is a good option but i beleive in freedom in my our land
reach me by telephone +256754892440 or by email ssentongoherbert@gmail.com
together we will win
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http://klug.cfsites.org/custom.php?pageid=38064

Speaker Kadaga promises to revive shelved gay Bill

The Speaker’s promise follows her experience in Canada, where foreign officials asked her to block the bill.


Entebbe

Days after her defence against a Canadian minister’s attacks on Uganda over homosexuality, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has promised to expedite the debate on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Ms Kadaga made the assurance while addressing religious leaders and journalists at Entebbe International Airport on Monday. “They said I should stop the debate on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill but I assured them there is no way I can block a private members Bill,” she said.

At the Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting in Quebec, Canada, Ms Kadaga was involved in an altercation with that country’s Foreign Affairs minister, Mr John Baird, after the latter accused Uganda of trampling on human rights.

The accusation saw Ms Kadaga tell the minister to stick to the day’s theme and respect Uganda’s sovereignty. “I will not accept to be intimidated or directed by any government in the world on matters of homosexuality,” she said, adding that she was not aware she was speaking for many people in the world, some of whom were in the conference.

“I was surprised when colleagues came and thanked me saying that’s what they have always wanted to say but they had never gotten the courage to. That when it came to me that I had spoken for the whole of Africa, for the Arab world and Asians,” she said.

The welcome ceremony and press briefing was organised by religious leaders, former Ethics and Integrity Minister Nsaba Buturo and the mover of the Bill, Mr David Bahati, all of whom are pushing for the enactment of the anti-homosexuality Bill.

A large procession comprising members of different Pentecostal churches, Makerere University students and boda boda cyclists camped at the airport from 10am to after midnight when Ms Kadaga emerged to greet them as they ululated and waved placards appreciating her boldness in Canada.

“You are our saviour, we want the bill now,” one of the placards read.
Pastor Michael Were, who spoke on behalf of the religious leaders, called on other national leaders to follow Ms Kadaga’s footsteps for the sake of the country’s culture and traditions.

Asked whether she was not mindful of Uganda being denied aid and her being denied entry visas to pro-gay countries, Ms Kadaga said such countries were welcome to keep their aid and visas.
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The rest of the world should help look into the situation in Uganda and the current bill against gays that is being tabled in parliament.Problem also is that many of the gay people are just talkers.They talk the talk but cannot walk the walk.People are so scared about losing their lives and being discriminated that they are forced to live double lives.So many are depressed and have nowhere to turn to and with time,i will not be surprised if there is a high rate of suicides occuring in my country Uganda.Anyway,i hope the situation gets better soon which i really do not think will happen but hey,what can one do other than stay positive even in a negative situation?
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Enter your full name here (user currently living in NETHERLANDS) posted for gay readers on 13/06/2011 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention, human rights, sexual orientation, illegality of female to female relationships, illegality of male to male relationships
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We demand Equal rights for everyone, whomever they love!

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that " All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights�.

We, the undersigned, call on the UN to eliminate the threats, harassment and attacks on any individual due to their actual, or perceived, sexual orientation.

Gay rights are Human rights and we urge you to you reaffirm an individual's right to enjoy safety and security regardless of their sexual orientation.


http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-lgbt-oppression-in-africa.html

Regards
African Gay Youth Foundation
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Kato Killing Must Serve as Catalyst for Change
US president has mourned murder of Ugandan Gay activist – Ugandan leaders should do the same.
By Veronica Oakeshott - International Justice - ICC
ACR Issue 287,
2 Feb 11

Veronica Oakeshott

Veronica Oakeshott
IWPR Consultant

I met David Kato on his last trip to the United Kingdom, just a few months before his brutal murder last week. He was in London to attend an international conference on HIV and AIDS.

It is hard to imagine someone so physically small taking on the Ugandan establishment, but that is exactly what this softly spoken gay rights activist did, every day of his life.

While Ugandan politicians debated new anti-gay legislation, religious leaders preached the evils of homosexuality and newspapers printed vitriol and incited violence, Kato talked passionately about his right to live safely and openly as a gay man.

He did not dwell on the time he spent in hiding or in jail for his activism, but simply pointed to the impossibility of doing HIV prevention work amongst the gay community in such circumstances.

A few days ago, battered to death in his home, this tiny man paid the ultimate price for his huge courage.

His murder was the culmination of 16 months of terror for the Ugandan gay community.

In October 2009, David Bahati, a Ugandan member of parliament, introduced an anti-homosexuality bill into parliament. The bill proposed the death penalty for homosexuals who pass on the AIDS virus; life imprisonment for “intent to commit homosexuality”; and a public requirement to report gays to the authorities.

There was condemnation from around the world - but in Uganda the bill was widely welcomed. It is currently making its way through parliament.

Kato and his colleague Frank Mugisha, chair of the human rights organisation Sexual Minorities Uganda, were two men who dared speak out. Finding little sympathy at home, they travelled abroad to highlight their struggle and call for help.

In early 2010, as policy adviser to the UK’s all-party group on HIV and AIDS, I organised Mugisha’s visit to the Westminster parliament to meet the then foreign office minister and openly gay legislator, Chris Bryant. It was, for Mugisha, a vision of what politics could be like.

“At this moment [in Uganda] it would be political suicide for a [member of parliament] to come out and support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” he marvelled.

Six months later, back in Uganda, the national newspaper, Rolling Stone (unrelated to the US magazine of the same name), splashed a story across its front page, outing Uganda’s “top one hundred homos”. The piece gave names and addresses of gay men - amongst them Mugisha and Kato, whose faces were pictured in the paper. On the front page a banner read, “Hang them!”

The lives of both men were in danger but instead of hiding, they fought back. Kato successfully took the newspaper to court winning the paltry sum of 1.5 million Ugandan shillings (650 US dollars) for invasion of privacy and a permanent injunction preventing Rolling Stone from running a similar story again.

The court case was still running when I saw Kato last November at the London AIDS conference. Even then, after months of hell, he was in fighting form, reminding delegates that gay rights were not just about privacy but the right to be open about who you are, without fear.

He was politely heard out, even praised for his bravery by some delegates, but a few others - also supposedly AIDS experts - tried to cut discussion of gay rights short with remarks like, “It is nothing to do with us”, or “These are private matters”.

But Kato’s murder shows how wrong they were. Someone wielding a hammer killed Kato, but it was public opinion, stoked up by the press, and certain preachers and politicians, that turned him into a figure of hate.

In the end, it must be Ugandans themselves who decide they have gone too far. But despite the murder, there are no signs of a change of heart. Even the pastor at Kato’s funeral last Friday, according to Reuters, saw fit to denounce homosexuality, saying, “People are turning away from the scriptures. They should turn back; they should abandon what they are doing.”

Meanwhile, the managing editor of Rolling Stone said in a statement that he condemned the murder of Kato and felt sorry for his family, but told the London-based Guardian that he had “no regrets” about publishing Rolling Stone’s front page story.

The president of the United States has found time to make a statement mourning Kato’s death. It is time for Ugandan leaders to do the same.

If Kato’s death can be a catalyst for change, he will not have died in vain.

Veronica Oakeshott is an IWPR consultant, currently coordinating an election-reporting project in Nigeria.

The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of IWPR.
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http://www.change.org/petitions/to-the-ugandan-government---homophobia-anywhere-is-a-threat-to-freedom-everywhere

As the advocacy officer for a rights group called Sexual Minorities Uganda, David Kato was one of Uganda's most high profile gay rights activists. Just weeks after winning a court victory over a tabloid that called for homosexuals to be killed he has been bludgeoned to death in his home.

David was one of a team of activists who took action against Uganda's Rolling Stone tabloid newspaper which had been running a campaign both naming and showing people it claimed were homosexual. The pictures featured on the front page, with an accompanying headline - "hang them". David was one of those pictured.

In response to the murder of David Kato, the managing editor of the weekly Rolling Stone, said in a statement that he had "no regrets about the story. We were just exposing people who were doing wrong."

Homophobia has increased in Uganda recently because of church action but also because of political action. An anti-homosexual bill currently before parliament calls for gays and lesbians to be jailed for life. This bill was sponsored by Ndorwa West, MP David Bahati, a legislator from President Museveni's ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

It is time for the Ugandan government to act. It is time for the government to publicly condemn the murder of David Kato, condemn homophobic publications such as the Rolling Stone, and to publicly condemn homophobia in Uganda. It is time for the Ugandan government to start educating Ugandans to stop homophobia. Please sign this petition to the Ugandan Government and to President Yoweri Museveni to end homophobia in Uganda.

""Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood" - Coretta Scott King

Homophobia anywhere, is a threat to freedom everywhere.
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