Homophobia anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere
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""Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood" - Coretta Scott King
As the advocacy officer for a rights group called Sexual Minorities Uganda, David Kato was one of Uganda's most high profile gay rights activists. Just weeks after winning a court victory over a tabloid that called for homosexuals to be killed he has been bludgeoned to death in his home.
David was one of a team of activists who took action against Uganda's Rolling Stone tabloid newspaper which had been running a campaign both naming and showing people it claimed were homosexual. The pictures featured on the front page, with an accompanying headline - "hang them". David was one of those pictured.
In response to the murder of David Kato, the managing editor of the weekly Rolling Stone, said in a statement that he had "no regrets about the story. We were just exposing people who were doing wrong."
Homophobia has increased in Uganda recently because of church action but also because of political action. An anti-homosexual bill currently before parliament calls for gays and lesbians to be jailed for life. This bill was sponsored by Ndorwa West, MP David Bahati, a legislator from President Museveni's ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).
It is time for the Ugandan government to act. It is time for the government to publicly condemn the murder of David Kato, condemn homophobic publications such as the Rolling Stone, and to publicly condemn homophobia in Uganda. It is time for the Ugandan government to start educating Ugandans to stop homophobia.
It is time to stop continued acts of homophobia in Uganda. The world cannot stand by whilst someone like David Kato is murdered for their sexuality, just as the world did not stand by when people were murdered for their race or for their religion.
It is time to put pressure on the government and the people of Uganda to end the murderous homophobia in their country.
We must not let David Kato die in vein. We must not forget David Kato but use his death to highlight the consequences of Homophobia. It is time to put pressure on governments and people everywhere to end homophobia around the world. It is time to fight against homophobia like we have fought all the other great civil rights battles.
Please sign this petition to the Ugandan Government and to President Yoweri Museveni to end homophobia in Uganda. Please sign this petition to show support for not just homosexuals in Uganda but around the world. Please sign this petition to the American Government and to President Obama to help end homophobia around the world.
Coretta Scott King became a leading LGBT activitst because she understood the simple fact that discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation is still discrimination; it is just that - discrimination.
Homophobia anywhere, is a threat to freedom everywhere.
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