Ugandan LGBT Advocate Killed

Ugandan LGBT Advocate Killed

David Kato, an LGBT advocate and spokesperson with Sexual Minorities Uganda, was found bludgeoned to death in his home near the Ugandan capital of Kampala. It is currently unclear if his death is linked to his activism, but his name was included in a published list of the “Top 100 Homosexuals in Uganda” with a call to “Hang Them.”

Currently in Uganda, “homosexual acts” may be punishable by 14 years to life in prison, but there is also a proposed bill that seeks to make homosexuality punishable by death, which is being pushed by Ugandan MP David Bahati.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and many other groups have advocated against the measure and called upon U.S. leaders to forcefully denounce the bill.

Bahati is connected to the annual National Prayer Breakfast via its sponsor, The Family, a secretive Christian-based organization that supports placement of leaders in government and economic positions of power. Bahati is The Family’s primary organizer in Uganda.

Last year, at the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, faith leaders gathered to speak out against the bill, and highlight the connection between the National Prayer Breakfast and the measure. At this year’s Creating Change conference, we will again stand solidarity against the Uganda bill and against all criminalization of people based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In addition, GetEQUAL DC will be holding an event on Feb. 3, “Breakfast Without Bigotry,” in Washington, D.C., outside of the Washington Hilton in response to The Family’s National Prayer Breakfast.

Breakfast Without Bigotry:
A Response to “The Family’s” National Prayer Breakfast
Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011
6-8 AM
On the Sidewalk Outside the Washington Hilton Hotel
1919 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20009
Q Street Exit — Dupont Circle Metro
If you are interested in attending, you can RSVP here:  http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=196390670376539

The White House also released a statement today from President Obama on the killing of David Kato:

I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder of David Kato.  In Uganda, David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate. He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom. The United States mourns his murder, and we recommit ourselves to David’s work.

At home and around the world, LGBT persons continue to be subjected to unconscionable bullying, discrimination, and hate. In the weeks preceding David Kato’s murder in Uganda, five members of the LGBT community in Honduras were also murdered. It is essential that the Governments of Uganda and Honduras investigate these killings and hold the perpetrators accountable.

LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights. My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all.