Witch Hunt: Ugandan Newspaper Publishes List of 200 Gays

The homophobic hysteria in Uganda heats up as a new law mandates life in prison for those that have had gay sex.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, speaking at the London Summit on Family Planning
Photo Credit: Creative Commons

The anti-gay atmosphere in Uganda is heating up.  On Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed a law that toughened the already harsh laws against gays in the African country.

That law mandates life sentences in jail for those who have gay sex.  It also prohibits the “promotion” of homosexuality.  Being gay is already outlawed in the country.

The latest anti-gay news, as the Associated Press reports, is that a Ugandan newspaper published a list of the “top” 200 gay people in the country.  The list includes gay activists, a hip-hop star and a Catholic priest.  “The media witch hunt is back,” tweeted Jacqueline Kasha, an activist.

It echoes a 2011 list published that called for the execution of the alleged gay people listed.  One Ugandan gay activist named David Kato was killed after the 2011 list was released.

The Obama administration has condemned the laws.  Secretary of State John Kerry said that the anti-gay law signed by Uganda’s president marked “a tragic day for Uganda and for all who care about the cause of human rights.”

Other Americans have different ideas about Uganda’s anti-gay laws.  Christian right activists in the U.S. have praised Uganda's anti-gay laws.

"This human rights crisis was made here in the United States," the Political Research Associate's Tarso Luís Ramos said in December, after the parliament passed the anti-gay bill. "Scott Lively, one of the right-wing U.S. evangelicals most responsible for the legislation, has had charges filed against him in American courts for persecution of Uganda’s sexual minority community... we ask all Americans of conscience to demand accountability from those U.S. conservatives who planned and encouraged these human rights violations and now hide behind the African pastors and politicians who are their willing partners in persecuting people because of who they love."


Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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