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04/19/2007


National Security Council Staff Meet with Ugandan Activist Frank Mugisha Over Anti-Gay Law

Nsc

President Obama's National Security Council met with Ugandan activist Frank Mugisha yesterday to discuss the Anti-Homosexuality Law recently passed there and posted photos to Twitter.

The NSC account added: "In their mtg w/ @frankmugisha, NSC’s Grant Harris & Steve Pomper reiterated U.S. support for freedom, justice, equal rights for all Ugandans"


Frank Mugisha Says 'I Would Be Sentenced To Death' If Uganda Bill Passes

MugishaRadio host Michelangelo Signorile got a chance to speak with Ugandan gay activist Frank Mugisha about the on-going debate about the "kill the gays" bill there.

Despite rumors that the death penalty for gay people has been removed from the bill, Mugisha insists that's logistically impossible: "The committee said they have completed their report, and the committee cannot change the legislation. What they can do is, they can only make recommendations in their report. So right now we are talking about legislation that has the death penalty." And if that bill passes, Mugisha says he's as good as dead: "The fact that I’ve already said in Uganda that I’m gay, and that I’m an advocate for LGBT rights, that means I’m promoting homosexuality in Uganda, according to this bill. This legislation, if passed into law, it would automatically make me a serial offender and I would be sentenced to death."

According to Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade, however, a dispute over another, unrelated bill has stopped Parliamentary progress, meaning that the session may end for the season before the kill the gays bill can be passed. That would buy some time to fight it, but without a huge cultural shift, particularly one encouraged by Western donors, the bill will probably return down the road.

You can listen to audio of Signorile and Mugisha's chat at HuffPo.


PBS NewsHour Covers Danger for Gays in Uganda and Re-emergence of Anti-Homosexuality Bill: VIDEO

Uganda

PBS NewsHour did an excellent 8-minute piece last night on the re-emergence of the "kill the gays" bill in Uganda, slain activist David Kato, anti-gay evangelizing by American 'Christianists' like Scott Lively, Hillary Clinton's statement to the UN urging rights for LGBTs in Africa and abroad, and the dangerous political atmosphere for gays now.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Here's a companion article:

The bill's re-emergence this year is a direct, defiant result of the recent Obama administration move to use foreign aid to push gay rights. "Gay rights are human rights," declared Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

How Uganda's legislation fares this time around is anyone's guess. As journalists "parachuting in" to cover it, our recent experience may well serve as a proxy for how the legislation -- or homosexuality in general -- has become a third rail nobody wants to touch.

Continue reading "PBS NewsHour Covers Danger for Gays in Uganda and Re-emergence of Anti-Homosexuality Bill: VIDEO" »


Murderer of Ugandan Gay Rights Activist David Kato Gets 30 Years

Enoch

The man responsible for the murder of Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato has been sentenced to 30 years in prison, the Africa Review reports:

David_katoSidney Nsubuga Enoch (top photo), 22, committed the crime after Kato (right) repeatedly made sexual advances him, according to the prosecution evidence. The body of the deceased was discovered in a house by one Kizza Akram, who had earlier left the duo together.

The hunt for Nsubuga culminated in his arrest when he was spotted by residents in Mukono district, who alerted the police. He was arrested after which he admitted to the murder charges brought against him.

Efforts to reach leaders of Uganda’s gay community were futile as they are said to be out of the country to receive a special award recognising them for their struggle in the fight for gay rights in Uganda.

As the Africa Review mentioned, leaders of the Ugandan LGBT rights movement are in the U.S. to see Frank Mugisha receive the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in Washington today.

MugishaThe AP:

The 29-year-old Mugisha leads an underground group whose members routinely shift locations in Uganda for their safety. Uganda, a conservative East African nation, is one of more than 70 nations that have imposed laws against being gay.

Mugisha blames U.S. evangelical activists in particular for stoking fears and promoting homophobia with a 2009 visit and conference on "rehabilitation" for gays in Uganda. Since then, violence against gays has increased, he said.

It is the first time the award has been given to an activist working for LGBT rights.

More on Mugisha HERE.


Ugandan LGBT Rights Activist Frank Mugisha to Receive Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award

Frnak Mugisha, a 29-year-old activist whose work has drawn attention to the plight of LGBT people in Uganda, is being recognized by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights:

Mugisha Frank Mugisha, a prominent young advocate for the rights of sexual minorities in Uganda, has been chosen to receive the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. Mr. Mugisha is the Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a leading organization of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) movement in the East African country...

...“Frank Mugisha's unbending advocacy for gay rights in Uganda in the face of deep-rooted homophobia is a testament to the indomitability of the human spirit,” said RFK Human Rights Award Judge Dean Makau Mutua, Professor of Law and Dean of the University at Buffalo Law School (SUNY).

...“Frank Mugisha has fought courageously in support of the rights of sexual minorities in Uganda, despite death threats and even exile,” said Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. “He has become a leading advocate for sexual minorities in a country where they are persecuted, jailed, and their lives destroyed. We are proud at the RFK Center to begin our partnership with Mr. Mugisha to advance his invaluable work within this movement.”

Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy and Senator John Kerry will present Mugisha with the award at a ceremony on November 10th at the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building.


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