Ugandan gay activist's funeral marred by commotion
An anti-gay protester created a commotion at the funeral for a prominent activist slain in Uganda, yelling out homophobic phrases that led to a scuffle with mourners attending the burial.
Hundreds of people attended the services for David Kato, who was bludgeoned to death earlier this week at his home in Uganda's capital.
Police had to intervene after a homophobic outburst from Anglican priest Thomas Musoke led to a scuffle midway through Friday's funeral, and Musoke was escorted away. While no one was hurt in the melee, gay rights campaigners said they had received threats that their cars would be stoned as they left the service.
Kato's killing comes after a year of stepped up threats against gays in Uganda, where a bill has proposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts.
However, Ugandan authorities say his sexual orientation had nothing to do with his death, and that he was slain by robbers. In a statement earlier this week, police said they had arrested one suspect and were looking for another.
But gay rights campaigners at the funeral insisted that Kato's death was linked to his activism and that the government had failed to protect gays in the country.
"What happened disgraced this nation and disgraced the soul of the person who had died," activist Julian Pepe Onziema said.
US President Barack Obama called on the Ugandan government to hold the perpetrators accountable.
"I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder," Obama said in a statement Friday. "David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate. He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom."
Kato, who had been threatened multiple times, was found with serious wounds to his head caused by an attack with a hammer at his home late Wednesday. He died on the way to the hospital.
A Ugandan tabloid newspaper called Rolling Stone had listed a number of men they said were homosexuals last year, including Kato. Kato's picture was published on the front page, along with his name and a headline that said "Hang Them."
Kato and two other gay activists sued Rolling Stone over claims that it had violated their constitutional rights to privacy and won the case earlier this month. A judge issued an injunction banning the publication of the identities and personal details of alleged homosexuals.
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and gay men and women face regular harassment. A controversial bill introduced in 2009 and still before the country's parliament would see the death penalty introduced for certain homosexual acts. The bill prompted international condemnation and hasn't come up for a vote.
Its introduction followed a conference in Kampala that was attended by American activists who consider same-gender relationships sinful. The US evangelicals believe gays and lesbians can become heterosexual through prayer and counseling. Some gay Ugandans still resent that American intervention.
In the wake of Kato's murder, fellow activists said they would continue campaigning despite fears for their safety.
"We can't lose David just like this," said activist Sandra Ntebi. "We are more determined because he is not around and we will do whatever it takes."
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
£65K - £75K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Creative Director...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: You will need to be able to follow instr...
£18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global wholesaler and reta...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This organization is one of the founding names...