Yesterday, many marked the one year anniversary of the brutal beating death of David Kato Kisuule, the leader of Sexual Minorities Uganda. Sidney Nsubuga Enoch was convicted in November of murdering Kato in his apartment and sentenced to 30 years in prison. The investigation and the trial seemed to be more about perpetuating sterotypes about gays and lesbians than actually punishing someone for swinging a hammer into the head of this gay activist. The prosecutor reportedly made much of Nsubuga's claim that he killed Kato because he said Kato was trying to push him into having sex.
Kato's murder outraged many of us in the LGBT international community. We who pay attention to not only the "gay news" but also the "Anglican news" were all-too-aware of the dangers facing Kato and others in Uganda as the church and state conspired to craft the noxious Anti-homosexual legislation, which threatens execution of LGBT people and severe punishment for anyone who doesn't report someone who is lesbian or gay to the authorities. There were emails, phone calls, and letters sent to the secular and religious leaders of the world to speak out against this atrocity occuring on the African continent. When Kato, an outspoken and visible member of Uganda's LGBTI community was executed, our concerns were sadly realized, and it ratched it up the global concern.
We must remain aware of the precarious position African LGBT people face. They're lives are in real jeopardy. They face imprisonment, beatings, and lesbians in particular are often victims of what some call "corrective" rape.
U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton this fall took a huge step up to tell the international community it is time to protect LGBT people from discrimination and the lynch mob mentality that comes with such legislation as was proposed in Uganda. If only now our religious leaders would be equally as bold!