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Posted at 3:08 PM ET, 01/31/2011

Murder in Uganda

By Jonathan Capehart

While the eyes of the world have been transfixed on the doings in North Africa, tragedy unfolded in Central Africa. David Kato, considered founding father of the gay rights movement in Uganda, was beaten to death with a hammer on Jan. 26. Police said the motive was robbery. Color me beyond skeptical.

Uganda is the nation that was considering a bill to make homosexuality a crime punishable by death. Known gay men and lesbians would have to be reported to authorities. The country also has a minister of ethics and integrity who said, "Homosexuals can forget about human rights." And it is where a short-lived newspaper called "Rolling Stone" last October published anti-gay screed with the names and photographs of Uganda's "top homos" and urged readers to "hang them."

Ugandan-newspaper-headlin-006.jpg

Kato's face was on the front page. And now he's dead.

What's not dead is that legislation, which suddenly appeared after a March 2009 visit by some American evangelicals. A commission established by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni recommended last May that the legislation be withdrawn. But according New York Times reporter Jeffrey Gettleman, who interviewed Kato, the bill is still very much alive and could pass this year. This is a travesty. The United States and European nations must redouble their efforts to ensure this ugly proposal never becomes law.

Kato returned to Uganda after living several years in South Africa. When asked by Gettleman why he returned, Kato replied, "We are few people who are out here. Me, I'm a professional teacher, I went to nice schools. My role is to fight and liberate." Who will be brave enough to fill that role now? The fight must not end with Kato's death.

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 31, 2011; 3:08 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Agreed, Jonathan. The fight cannot and will not end with Kato's death. Thank you for drawing attention to this crime of unconscionable bigotry and hate.

Posted by: sbdc2 | January 31, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

obscure BS wapo can find. uganda?

Posted by: pofinpa | January 31, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Is that all you are ever concerned with? Gay rights issues. Because as a Journalist we're expecting that you contribute to all the conversations that are important to the country without diminishing LGBT issues/rights. Or is it the Post's unique position to have correspondents constantly address their pet projects i.e Gay rights for you, Israel for those tribalists at the post such as Diehl. Well no wonder that Jon Stewart has a black correspondent, muslim correspondent,etc for jest.

Posted by: skennd | January 31, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Since the Ugandans were Evangelized, funded and supported by The Family, the blood is their hands.

This is where "faith-based" foreign policy leads. Another example of what happens when religious parties (radical Evangelical Christian Republicans)take over a country. Christians, Muslims or Jews, it doesn't matter. Keep religion out of politics.

Posted by: thebobbob | January 31, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan, you might be interested to know that Scott Lively, one of the U.S. pastors who traveled to Uganda in 2009 has released a strange response to the murder, suggesting it was Kato's gay lover who killed him.

http://b.globe.com/f4qYDq

Posted by: Rob_Anderson | January 31, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

I’m glad to see this story get some coverage in The Washington Post, but it deserves more. It’s as John Donne wrote, “each man’s death diminishes me.” But the importance of the story goes beyond that. Kato’s murder is not just an isolated crime; his death was the inevitable result of proselytizing by radicalized American Christians – men who are linked to some of the most powerful politicians in our own country. This hateful band of bigots represents a danger not just to Ugandans and gays, but to all of us who do not adhere to their hateful brand of “Christianity.”

Posted by: codexjust1 | January 31, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

God and Jesus are hatred, bigotry and murder. We can only hope that some day God and Jesus will truly be dead.

Posted by: jjedif | January 31, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Does Capehart ever write anything that doesn't mention a gay person somewhere in his story? I think he's just a bit too obsessed with being gay. If that's his whole life, I feel sorry for him.
Does Capehart have any hobbies...other than whining about alleged world-wide discrimination of gay people?

Get a life, Capehart.

Posted by: momof20yo | January 31, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Get a life, Capehart.

Posted by: momof20yo
_______________-

Wonderfully sensitive wording ther MOM -- Get a life.. Unfortunately, it is people like you who will forever be saying such uncaring insensitive things when there are actual human lives at stake.
Sure, I can see people like you and the other Christian Taliban members fighting for the future right of American LGBT people to be murdered solely because they are gay.

WOuld you have used those same words "Get a life" to a black man in the 1930 or 40's writing about lynching? get a life you would have told Capeheart..

wonderfully sensitive loving christian taliban member.

Posted by: racerdoctcgr | January 31, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Get a life, Capehart.

Posted by: momof20yo
_______________-

Wonderfully sensitive wording ther MOM -- Get a life.. Unfortunately, it is people like you who will forever be saying such uncaring insensitive things when there are actual human lives at stake.
Sure, I can see people like you and the other Christian Taliban members fighting for the future right of American LGBT people to be murdered solely because they are gay.

WOuld you have used those same words "Get a life" to a black man in the 1930 or 40's writing about lynching? get a life you would have told Capeheart..

wonderfully sensitive loving christian taliban member.

Posted by: racerdoctcgr | January 31, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Get a life, Capehart.

Posted by: momof20yo
_______________-

Wonderfully sensitive wording ther MOM -- Get a life.. Unfortunately, it is people like you who will forever be saying such uncaring insensitive things when there are actual human lives at stake.
Sure, I can see people like you and the other Christian Taliban members fighting for the future right of American LGBT people to be murdered solely because they are gay.

WOuld you have used those same words "Get a life" to a black man in the 1930 or 40's writing about lynching? get a life you would have told Capeheart..

wonderfully sensitive loving christian taliban member.

Posted by: racerdoctcgr | January 31, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

The main suspect was a ex-con and was living with the victim. He has fled.

Unfortunately, domestic violence is far more common involved same sex male relationships than opposite sex relationships. The recent horrific murder of the Portuguese reporter where the assailant, his much younger lover, beat him to death and castrated him shows that more not less attention needs to be shone on this tragedy.

Posted by: GiveMeThat | January 31, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Jonathon Capehart for once again standing up for those whose lives are stunted and oppressed by violence,hatred,and bigotry.Whether the victims are gays,or Christians being persecuted in Muslim countries,Muslims being investigated by Congressman King,Palestinians being evicted from their homes to make room for settlers,Jews being demonized by radical Muslims,keep using your column to speak out for those whose voices and often lives are being smothered by the haters.

Posted by: johnbird1 | February 1, 2011 9:10 AM | Report abuse

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