Uganda, Africa

To reduce sectarian violence, Ugandan political parties were restricted in their activities from 1986-2005. In the non-party "Movement" system instituted by Yoweri Museveni, political parties continued to exist, but they could only operate a headquarter office. They could not open branches, hold rallies or field candidates directly (although electoral candidates could belong to political parties). A constitutional referendum canceled this nineteen-year ban on multi-party politics in July 2005. Presidential elections were held in February 2006. Yoweri Museveni won against several candidates. As usual the result were challenged but the country is relatively stable except for rebel activity in the northeast. Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and gay activists are regularly harassed and taken into custody then released. It is the first country in the world to have a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage (since 2004).


News & Reports:


Gay Ugandans: Loud and Proud

About 10 years ago, when I first came out to my guardian and, later, to my closest colleagues at the Daily Monitor newspaper in Uganda, I was nothing short of terrified of losing both family and friends. As I had anticipated, declaring my love for fellow women got me my own share of homelessness, verbal… Read more »

Ugandans Both Proud and Brave

Activists attended Gay Pride events this weekend in Uganda despite the country’s antigay climate, and their bravery earned the admiration of many worldwide. While the Anti-Homosexuality Bill from David Bahati languishes in Uganda’s Parliament, LGBT activists dared to declare their pride in public events this weekend. After months of preparation, and despite arrests, Uganda’s gay… Read more »

Hillary Clinton Honors Uganda Gay Rights Activists

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday honored gay rights activists in Uganda with the department’s 2011 Human Rights Defender Award. Clinton praised the coalition of groups which organized to oppose a draft law in Uganda which called for a death penalty against gay men and women under certain conditions, calling them an “inspiration for… Read more »

David Kato’s life and death in Uganda

HIV/AIDS plays but a bit part in Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s documentary Call Me Kuchu, but its toxic shadow looms large in this depiction of violent, anti-gay sentiment in Uganda. Like many other African countries, colonial-era laws banning homosexuality remain on the books in Uganda. When the HIV/AIDS epidemic exploded there in the… Read more »

Uganda anti-gay bill draws church, donor battle lines

Kampala(Reuters) – Peter, 23, used to enjoy hitting Kampala’s bars with his boyfriend until a draft bill dubbed “kill the gays” forced him into hiding. “I’m so, so afraid. I just live indoors,” he says, sitting in the semi-darkness of the cramped two-room dwelling where he has lived since his family and friends turned on… Read more »

Uganda says gays now free to meet

Kampala, Uganda — Responding to growing international criticism of anti-gay efforts in Uganda, the government said in a statement Friday that it does not discriminate against people “of a different sexual orientation.” “No government official is (supposed) to harass any section of the community and everybody in Uganda enjoys the freedom to lawfully assemble and… Read more »

Uganda to dissolve 38 NGOs which ‘promote homosexuality’

Uganda is reportedly set to dissolve 38 non-governmental organisations in the African state who it believes are promoting homosexuality and ‘recruiting’ people into a gay lifestyle. Simon Lokodo, an Ethics Minister, told news agency Reuters foreign support was being sent to NGOs in Uganda to support gays in the country, who currently face life imprisonment… Read more »

Uganda: Police interrupt training workshop for gay rights activists

Police officers in Uganda raided a gay rights training session near Kampala yesterday, alleging that the assembly was illegal. LGBT activists, however, contend that the workshop was legal, and were targeted only because it was geared towards training gay rights campaigners. The session was organised by East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project… Read more »

The Road to Safety – Executive Summary

Strengthening Protection of LGBTI Refugees in Uganda and Kenya Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) refugees are often among the most vulnerable and isolated of refugees. This is especially true in places where they are at heightened risk due to violent attacks, discrimination, and laws that criminalize same-sex relations. In addition, in many countries… Read more »

Uganda VP Tells British Minister Death Penalty For Gays Will Be Dropped

Uganda’s vice president, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi has told a visiting British government minister that the proposed death penalty in the Anti- Homosexuality Bill 2009 would be dropped when it becomes law. Ugandan VP Edward Ssekandi meeting the UK Minister The government owned New Vision newspaper is reporting that Ssekandi however told the British Home Office… Read more »

Homophobia as a barrier to comprehensive media coverage of the ugandan anti-homosexual bill.

Abstract The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill of October 2009 caused an international outcry and sparked intense debate in the local media. This article explores to what degree a discriminatory social environment manifests itself in the Ugandan print media and discusses the potential implications for media’s coverage of contentious policy options such as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. A… Read more »

Protesters call for release of gay Ugandan refugee

Campaigners picketed Dutch embassy in London and handed over petition demanding asylum for gay man fleeing persecution in Uganda Campaigners demonstrated outside the Dutch embassy in London yesterday (2 April) demanding freedom and asylum for a gay Ugandan. Members of the Movement for Justice group called for the Netherlands to release Kalanzi Marvin Richard, who… Read more »

Gay activists fight for human rights in Africa

The world listened last week as Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf defended her country’s laws that discriminate against its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex population. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, she spoke of preserving Liberia’s “traditional values” and said in part, “We like ourselves the way we are.” It’s a sad sentiment… Read more »

Ugandan Gay Rights Group Sues U.S. Evangelist

A Ugandan gay rights group filed suit against an American evangelist, Scott Lively, in federal court in Massachusetts on Wednesday, accusing him of violating international law by inciting the persecution of gay men and lesbians in Uganda. The lawsuit maintains that beginning in 2002, Mr. Lively conspired with religious and political leaders in Uganda to… Read more »

omen who have made a mark

Note: this list is notable for the absence of any lesbian human rights activists. However, Prof. Sylvia Tamale, listed, is very pro-gay and has co-authored a book about homosexuality in Uganda: ‘Homosexuality: Perspectives from Uganda’. Ugandan women have steadily come of age, claiming a comfortable place at the high tables of governance, politics, business, sport… Read more »

Resentment Toward the West Bolsters Uganda’s New Anti-Gay Bill

Kampala, Uganda — At first, it was a fiery contempt for homosexuality that led a Ugandan lawmaker to introduce a bill in 2009 that carried the death penalty for a “serial offender” of the “offense of homosexuality.” The bill’s failure amid a blitz of international criticism was viewed by many as evidence of power politics,… Read more »

Uganda: 190,000 Petition Citibank And Barclays To Condemn Anti Gay Bill

An international petition launched three days ago calling for the international business community to protest Uganda’s notorious anti-gay bill has garnered the support of over 190,000 people worldwide. The more than 190,000 people have signed the petition to join a campaign on the website launched three days ago by Collin Burton, a gay Citibank… Read more »

Anti-gay bill forces activist to go into hiding

Police hunt for outspoken rights worker, who is on the run and fears for her life A prominent Ugandan gay and lesbian rights activist with a history of being harassed by the authorities has been forced into hiding after police raided the hotel where she was participating in a workshop on the rights of sexual… Read more »

Gay Rights Activists Vow to Fight Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill

A Ugandan cabinet member yesterday raided a workshop being run by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists in Entebbe. Minister for Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo declared the workshop illegal and ordered the rights activists out of the hotel where it was being held. He was accompanied by police, The workshop was organized by… Read more »

Ugandan gay rights workshop ‘raided’

Amnesty International has called on Uganda to end its “outrageous harassment” of activists after a cabinet minister reportedly raided a workshop being held by gay and trans rights advocates. Uganda’s Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Simon Lokodo, was accompanied by police to the hotel where the event was being held, the organisation said. Announcing that… Read more »

Gay Rights Activists Consult Over Uganda’s AIDS Control Bill

Gay rights activists in Uganda have started consultations on the controversial HIV/Aids Control Bill 2010 which excludes homosexuals from HIV programming. The bill is set for re-tabling in Uganda’s parliament next week. The bill, which gay activists contested with a petition and memorandum to Ugandan Parliament in April last year, was due for its first… Read more »

Persecuted at Home, African Gays Seek Kenya Refuge

Until a new anti-homosexuality bill caused a wave of homophobia in Uganda, John and Paul could hold hands in the streets of the capital Kampala and kiss in night clubs. Then the nightmare started — people began insulting and then assaulting them, and then they had to run away to Kenya. The couple have been… Read more »

Sub-Saharan Africa: Problems with Male Circumcision and HIV Transmission

Important new article finds fault with recent male circumcision trials in Africa. Sub-Saharan African randomised clinical trials into male circumcision and HIV transmission: Methodological, ethical and legal concerns In 2007, WHO/UNAIDS recommended male circumcision as an HIV- preventive measure based on three sub-Saharan African randomised clinical trials (RCTs) into female-to-male sexual transmission. A related RCT… Read more »

US Government Team To Discuss Human Rights With Uganda’s Museveni

The US deputy Secretary of State Ambassador William Burns, is leading a high profile delegation to Uganda Friday to discuss human rights with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. The delegation is also understood to deliberate on a range of bilateral issues, including regional security and good governance with the Ugandan government. Ambassador Burns is the top… Read more »

Dear Friends, Colleagues, Fellow Activists and Human Rights Defenders

Today, one year ago, a few of us were hanging out having a lovely new year connection full of hope for possibilities for our activism here 3 kms from the CAL office.  Victor received a call [almost to the minute as we put out this note]… David Kato had been murdered and our celebration in… Read more »

Ugandan Television Coverage of David Kato’s Memorial Service

It was one year ago today when Ugandan LGBT advocate David Kato was brutally murdered in his home. Today, NTV Uganda has posted this news report on a memorial service which was held on the grounds of the Emerald Hotel in Kampala. There has been a great deal of discussion over the past several years… Read more »

Thabo Mbeki’s Pro-Gay Statement Boosts Gay Rights Defenders In Uganda

Former South African president, Thabo Mbeki has criticized Uganda’s anti homosexuality bill, saying sex between consenting adults “is really not the matter of law.” Kampala’s Daily Monitor newspaper reported on Monday that the visiting former head of state’s comments will come as “a boost to the crusaders of gay rights in Uganda.” Fittingly, Mbeki’s comments… Read more »

They Will Say We Are Not Here

These are fragments of David Kato, glimpses of a Ugandan activist and friend who – one year ago today – was brutally murdered. These moments offer a perspective on the inner world that David shared with us, a world teeming with passion and relentless determination, good humor and vivid daydreams. During our first days in… Read more »

Ex-South African president: Ugandan anti-gay bill makes no sense

The former president of South Africa, Thabo MBeki, has criticised Uganda’s infamous anti-gay bill, saying it “doesn’t make sense” to intervene. Mr Mbeki was taking questions at the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) in Kampala when he was asked about the draft legislation and specifically what he would say to its sponsor, the Daily… Read more »

Uganda Gay Rights Advocate Calls For Scrapping Of Anti-Prostitution Laws

A Ugandan advocate for sex workers and homosexual rights, Busingye Kabumba has said prostitution and anti-abortion laws should be repealed to encourage the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young women. Kabumba, a lecturer at Makerere University’s Faculty of Law in Kampala also said there is a “Need to streamline the Ugandan legal framework… Read more »

Frank Mugisha, Ugandan Gay Activist, Receives Death Threats, Fears For His Life

A Ugandan gay activist who wrote a New York Times op-ed piece in December, speaking out against homophobia in his country enforced by the government and the police, has received threats and says he fears for his life, afraid to even go shopping alone or eat in a restaurant for fear of being poisoned. “Just… Read more »

Uganda: New Complaint Lodged In Homophobic Smear Conspiracy Case

The Chief Registrar of Uganda’s Courts will on January 18 rule whether the magistrate handling the landmark homophobic smear conspiracy case against three Christian anti–gay preachers is biased against the accused. In a letter dated December 15, 2011, seen by Behind the Mask, the accused preachers claim that the trial magistrate, John Patrick Wekesa has… Read more »

Gay and Vilified in Uganda

When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced this month that the United States would use diplomacy to encourage respect for gay rights around the world, my heart leapt. I knew her words — “gay people are born into, and belong to, every society in the world”— to be true, but in my country they… Read more »

Julius Kaggwa – 2010 Human Rights Award Honoree [video]

Born and raised in Uganda, Julius Kaggwa is an advocate for the human rights of sexual minorities in Uganda and throughout Africa. He is a leader in the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law and directs the Support Initiative for People with Atypical Sex Development (SIPD). Kaggwa has led the fight against… Read more »

‘Visionary’ Jamaican rights activist announced as recipient of inaugural David Kato Award

Global award honouring murdered human rights activist to be presented to Jamaican lawyer, Maurice Tomlinson in London David Kato, the human rights activist murdered in his home in Kampala, Uganda on 26 January 2011, is representative of the millions of individuals worldwide who daily struggle against hostility and persecution simply because of their sexuality. Inspired… Read more »

Uganda LGBTI Press Statement on the 63rd International Human Rights Day in Uganda

A statement from Sexula Minorities Uganda (SMUG) on International Human Rights Day Today the Ugandan LGBTI community joins millions of other Ugandans in commemorating the International Human Rights Day. This day is a time for people worldwide to reflect about the meaning, importance andneed for human rights. It is an occasion for the government and… Read more »

Africa reacts to Obama’s pro-gay rights foreign policy

Most of Africa’s 54 nations ban homosexuality, so President Obama’s promotion of gay rights as a human right draws quick ire from African governments.

Ghanaian gay refugee tells his horrific story

Imagine if your family published a newspaper story saying you were evil, and that the story made some neighbours feel obligated to smash your skull with rocks. There are thousands of stories like this in Africa. This one is horrific but has a happy ending. We know there’s a crisis facing lesbian, gay and transgender… Read more »

The Gray Area of Gay Refugees

A gay Ugandan couple fled to a Kenyan refugee camp after being disowned by their families and threatened by their community Nairobi, Kenya — The two tender, soft-spoken Ugandans shared a circle of good friends back in their hometown of Kampala. They were close with their families and they started a restaurant together. Life was… Read more »

Kenya: The Gray Area of Gay Refugees

A gay Ugandan couple fled to Uganda, thousands of kilometers from home with little more than the clothes on their backs. They came as brothers to live in a scorching refugee camp in northern Kenya. Surrounded by thousands of others who have fled wars and drought in neighboring countries, they came here to save their… Read more »