Ugandans Urge Action in Response to Murder

February 1, 2011
Around the world, people are grieving the death of David Kato, an openly gay Ugandan who stood up to speak out in support of the rights of sexual minorities. For his efforts, his photo and a photo of Bishop Christopher Senyonjo  were on the cover of a Ugandan newspaper next to a noose and the mandate, “Hang them!” written under it.  David Kato had just led a successful court effort to sanction the newspaper just days before he was murdered in his own home in the middle of the day.  

David Kato

GLAAD continues to work with LGBT advocates in the U.S. to expose the U.S. based Evangelicals who work closely with conservatives in Uganda.  The web woven by some politicians and religious people who have used LGBT people to advance themselves is complex and international.  The documentary, Missionaries of Hate, pulls back the curtain on the export of anti-gay hatred by proponents of so-called “ex-gay” ministries who are exploiting fears and raising money outside the country.  Rachel Maddow recently interviewed David Bahati, the sponsor of the “Kill the Gays” bill being considered in the Uganda parliament, and helped publicize the connection between sponsors of the National Prayer Breakfast, conservative U.S. Christians in “The Family,” and Bahati. Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin provides the most in-depth history of events leading up to this moment.  On January 29, Frank Mugisha, head of Sexual Minorities of Uganda, sent an e-mail to LGBT advocates with guidance on what to do in response to this horrific murder:                WHAT ACTION TO TAKE: 
  • Send letters urging the government of Uganda (contact information below) to take the following steps:
  • Publicly condemn David's murder;
  • Carry out a full and fair investigation into David’s murder;
  • Prosecute the perpetrator(s) to the fullest extent of the law; 
  • Investigate David’s hacked e-mail account in the days preceding his death;
  • Assume that, until proven otherwise, David’s death was motivated by anti-LGBT hatred and not routine or arbitrary violence;
  • Communicate frequently with LGBT leaders throughout the investigation into David’s murder;
  • Ensure that members of Uganda’s LGBT community have adequate protection from violence;
  • Take prompt action against all threats or hate speech likely to incite violence, discrimination or hostility toward LGBT Ugandans;
  • Eliminate any possibility of consideration or passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
  • Contact your own governmental authorities and urge them to communicate these concerns to the Ugandan authorities in direct and private advocacy.
  • Continue to expose and denounce U.S conservative evangelicals spreading hate in Uganda.
  • Organize respectful and non-violent vigils at the Ugandan embassy or consulate in your country.
  • Inform SMUG of all action you take around David’s murder, so that we can monitor all developments.  Send copies of your press releases, statements, audio/video recordings of vigils, pictures, and action plans on this subject to SMUG  e-mail :
  • Ensure that you do not spread misinformation.  A highly political and delicate investigation is underway in a dangerous environment in Uganda, and therefore misinformation could be seriously damaging. 
  • We call for respectful responses towards David Kato’s murder and NOT to use this tragic incident for fundraising campaigns.  
   CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE UGANDAN GOVERNMENT:  President of The Republic of Uganda . H.E Yoweri Museveni  Parliament Building  PO Box 7168Kampala, Uganda  E-mail:  Fax: + 256 414 346 102  Salutation: Your Excellency  Inspector General of Police Major Kale Kayihura  Police Headquarters  PO Box 7055Kampala, Uganda  Fax: + 256 414 255 630  Salutation: Dear Major  Minister of Justice Hon. Makubuya Kiddu  Parliament Building  PO Box 7183Kampala, Uganda  E-mail:  Fax: + 256 414 234 453  Salutation: Dear Minister      SMUG Contacts:  Frank Mugisha: +1 646 436 1858;  Val Kalende: +1 857-247-1184;  kalendenator@  Pepe Julian: +256 772 370 674;