Global News: Ugandan Paper Publishes List of 100 “Top” Gays, Says ‘Hang Them’

10/27/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, US // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Kampala, Uganda—A controversial article published in a Ugandan newspaper, which contained a photographic list of the country’s 100 “top” homosexuals, along with their names and addresses, has led to several anti-gay attacks and spurred a potential lawsuit. The Oct. 9 front-page story also included a noticeable banner stating, “Hang Them,” according to an October 19, 2010 Associated Press report.

Following the release of the contentious newspaper story, which claimed gays were spreading a lethal disease and recruiting children by invading schools, at least four gay Ugandan men on the list were attacked. Countless others allegedly went into hiding after the article was published in Rolling Stone, a Ugandan newspaper.

“Such kind of media should not be allowed in Uganda. It is creating violence and calling for genocide of sex minorities… The law enforcers and government should come out and protect sex minorities from such media,” said Sexual Minorities chairman Frank Mugisha.

Reports contended the story was published nearly one year after a lawmaker introduced a bill that planned to impose the death penalty on individuals partaking in certain homosexual acts. The proposed legislation also planned to sentence gays who participated in other unspecified homosexual acts to life in prison.

Parliamentarian David Bahati apparently introduced the notorious bill after leaders of the U.S. conservative Christian ministries visited Uganda to endorse a method of therapy they claimed could convert gays to heterosexuals.

Upon its introduction, however, the legislation faced global scrutiny and was subsequently abandoned. Nonetheless, many gays have faced increased harassment. Even in South Africa, where gay marriage is accepted, violence ensues. For instance, some gangs have been known to execute “corrective” rapes on lesbians.

Mugisha contended more than 20 gays have been attacked in the last year. Such figures represent an increase of approximately 50 percent in the number of anti-gay attacks within the last two years. Another 17 individuals were reportedly arrested and jailed on the basis of sexual orientation.

“Before the introduction of the bill in parliament most people did not mind our activities. But since then, we are harassed by many people who hate homosexuality… The publicity the bill got made many people come to know about us and they started mistreating us,” said 27-year-old Patrick Ndede. David Bahati could not be reached for comment.

According to Giles Muhame, the newspaper’s managing editor, “We felt there was a need for society to know that such characters exist amongst them. Some of them recruit young children into homosexuality, which is bad and needs to be exposed… In brief we did so because homosexuality is illegal, unacceptable and insults our traditional lifestyle.”

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan– Legal News for Civil Rights Lawyers.

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