Uganda: Lynching by Tabloid

Published: 25 February 2014

Country: Uganda

uganda_gay_rights_smallerJust a day after signing of the controversial anti-gay law in Uganda, a tabloid published 200 names and some photos of alleged homosexuals.  In a front-page story under the headline “EXPOSED” tabloid Red Pepper named people already known to be gay but, as Associated Press reports, the list also includes some Ugandans who previously had not identified themselves as gay.

A well-known lesbian activist Jacqueline Kasha tweeted that “the media witch-hunt is back”. Reporting on the controversial anti-gay law that sets very tough penalties for homosexuals in Uganda, some Western media such as the Guardian and the Huffington Post, writes about the role of the American evangelical Christians priests in spreading the anti-gay sentiments in Africa.

“It’s widely known that Scott Lively, the American evangelist who published a book erroneously claiming that homosexuality gave rise to the the Nazis, sowed the seeds of hate in Uganda beginning years back. And, as blogger Joe Jervis revealed in 2010, the Family Researching Council, now enraged by the backlash against Arizona’s anti-gay law, lobbied Congress not to pass a resolution condemning the Uganda bill”, reports the Huffington Post.

CNN has broadcasted an exclusive interview with the Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni who defended his position saying that sexual behavior is a matter of choice and gay people are “disgusting.”

American network CNN reports that publishing the list of alleged gay people in Ugandan newspapers is not the first time and that in November 2010 a local tabloid listed 100 of what it called the country’s top gays and lesbians, with photos and addresses alongside a yellow banner reading “hang them.”

The next month, the paper listed 10 more people it claimed were gay. The list included addresses and alleged intimate details about them. Advocacy groups filed a lawsuit. And the Ugandan high court banned all media outlets in the country from publishing such lists, reports CNN.