Leading Ugandan LGBT Activist Found Murdered in His Home

Jan 27, 2011
Exec. Prod. of Franchises & Series. He previously reported for HuffPost, L.A. Daily Journal, and Biloxi Sun-Herald.
Gay-rights activist David Kato, who was murdered Thursday in Uganda. (Photo: Univ. of Cambridge).

Starting in October 2010, Uganda's Rolling Stone tabloid newspaper (no relation to the American mag) has campaigned against that nation's gays and lesbians by—among other things—publishing their photos and names alongside front page headlines screaming "Hang Them."

Now, it seems, Rolling Stone may have claimed its first scalp. 

As the advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda, David Kato was one of Uganda's leading gay-rights activists. On January 3 he won a permanent court injunction against Rolling Stone's naming campaign.

Kato was found murdered in his home late Wednesday. Police say he was beaten to death.

According to the BBC, police have not yet connected Kato's activism to his death.

Uganda is a notoriously hostile place for gays and lesbians. Homosexuality is illegal in the African nation, and lawmakers recently introduced a bill to parliament that would have given some gay men and lesbians the death penalty.

Yesterday, TakePart reported on Ugandan lesbian Brenda Namigadde's fight against imminent deportation from the U.K. to Uganda. Namigadde's supporters are lobbying the U.K. government to allow her to stay in that country. She says she fears physical injury or worse if she returns to her native Uganda.

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