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:


Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” Bill Spreads Fear

Gay activist Gerald Ssentongo of Uganda is afraid to talk openly about his cause. Not only that, but he is terrified of being “caught” socialising with gay people and only meets his friends at night in out-of-reach places. “The fear for our lives is everywhere, but it has increased of late. I am now verbally… Read more »

Lawmakers in Uganda have voted on and passed the ‘Kill The Gays’ bill

Imagine the possibility of being jailed for being who you were born to be. Imagine being sentenced to life in prison for following your heart and demonstrating the feelings of affection towards another just because that person is of the same sex. Many LGBT people in the Uganda will now live in such a world… Read more »

What it’s like to be gay in the world’s most homophobic country

Our writer was working as an LGBTI activist in Uganda when her friend and fellow activist David Kato was murdered. Here she shares her experiences On 26 January 2011, David Kato was found bludgeoned to death in a street near his home in Mukono Town, Central Uganda. In the months and years before his death… Read more »

Ugandan parliamentary speaker blasts Canada over gay rights criticism

The Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament claims that Canada has refused to grant visas for several of the country’s politicians due to its ban on same-sex marriage. According to the Daily Trust, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga made the statement on Tuesday as an international summit took place in Quebec. She reportedly said most of her colleagues who… Read more »

Ugandan Gay Rights Documentary ‘Call Me Kuchu’; The Struggle Continues

Hamptons Film Festival: Ugandan Gay Rights Doc Call Me Kuchu Proves The Struggle Continues A fair amount of international media attention was given in 2011 to what was being called the Ugandan “Kill The Gays” bill, which would make homosexual activity punishable by death. Rachel Maddow covered it on her show, Hillary Clinton called the… Read more »

Uganda: British producer of gay play bailed from jail

British theatre producer David Cecil has been released on bail in Uganda, where he was charged over a play featuring a gay storyline. The play – the main character of which is a gay businessman killed by his own employees – was performed at two theatres in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, last month. According to… Read more »

Brit producer of gay play in Uganda held in jail

Kampala, Uganda (AP) — The British producer of a play about being gay in Uganda is in jail pending his trial on charges that he had the work performed without official authorization. David Cecil appeared in court Thursday charged with ‘‘disobeying lawful orders’’ from the Uganda Media Council, which says he staged ‘‘The River and… Read more »

Owner of Tilapia Bar in Kampala Arrested for showing “gay themed play” The River and The Mountain

On the heels of a story posted yesterday about a transwoman being beaten in Kampala, David Cecil was arrested today for hosting the play “The River and The Mountain” a his Tilapia Bar.  The cause for his arrest was showing a “gay themed play” in Uganda. This from a report on the play being shut… Read more »

Uganda: Play banned by authorities for gay storyline

A Ugandan play tackling the difficulties of being gay in the country has been cancelled, ahead of a planned run at the country’s National Theatre in Kampala, after an intervention by authorities. The play, titled ‘The River and the Mountain’, was set to be performed in the capital, but was cancelled when regulators intervened, The… Read more »

“Give me PRIDE, or give me Death!”

Sound familiar? It should. In 1775 at the Virginia Convention Sir Patrick Henry spoke about the abuses of Great Britain treating the colonies as subordinates and referenced all that his fellow Americans had done in an attempt to maintain peace. It was during that speech that he famously proclaimed “I know not what course others… Read more »

“Revolutionary” Gay Play Staged In Dangerously Homophobic Uganda

In Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal and LGBT people are forced to live their lives in secret over fears of violence and murder, a British playwright and producers are staging the country’s first gay-themed play. The River and the Mountain, written by Beau Hopkins, is a tragicomic portrait of a gay businessman in the East… Read more »

Play about gay man staged in Uganda, where death penalty was proposed for homosexuals

Kampala, Uganda — A play that revolves around the turbulent life of a gay man in Uganda is being staged in the East African nation, where three years ago a parliamentarian wrote a bill seeking the death penalty for homosexuals. This is the first time a play exploring homosexuality is being performed in Uganda, and… Read more »

Cyber hackers attack websites of Africa anti-gay countries

Hacktivist groups TheEliteSociety and Anonymous launch a joint operation to hack any African country that imprisons or kills LGBT people The Anonymous and TheEliteSociety hacking groups have launched a joint all-out attack against countries in Africa that kill or imprison LGBT people in an operation dubbed #OpFuckAfrica. So far websites in Botswana, Somalia, Sudan, and… Read more »

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 »