A senior politician in Uganda has pledged to block gay rights in the country.
James Nsaba Buturo, Minister for Ethics and Integrity, told All Africa news agency that the government is committed to stopping LGBT people “trying to impose a strange, ungodly, unhealthy, unnatural, and immoral way of life on the rest of our society.”
Last week the country’s Minister for Youth and Children’s Affairs said new legislation would be brought forward on homosexuality, and claimed that young people are the “main target” of gay people.
2007 has seen the first gay rights press conference and the first anti-gay rally in Uganda.
In August gay rights activists in spoke out about the prejudice LGBT people face in the country.
30 people gave a press conference drawing attention to the state-sponsored homophobia and transphobia they face every day.
They called themselves the “homosexual children of God” and demanded that attacks on LGBT people stop.
Some of the activists wore masks for fear of being identified, while others shocked journalists by outlining the brutality they had faced at the hands of police.
Ugandan law outlaws homosexuality as “against the order of nature.”
Trans people are also targeted by police and regularly subject to abuse and harassment.
The following week churches in the country showed their disapproval with a demonstration organised by the Uganda Joint Christian Council.
UJCC member churches include the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches.
There has been rising tension in the country over gay and lesbian rights.
Last year thirteen alleged lesbians were outed by the tabloid newspaper Red Pepper.
There have been a series of government-backed attacks on the Ugandan lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the last few years, including an illegal police raid on the home of Victor Juliet Mukasa, in July 2005.
In September Red Pepper ran another “expose” of prominent gay and lesbians, under the headline “HOMO TERROR! We Name and Shame Top Gays in the City.”
They claimed to have “full names, workplaces, cars they drive and even where they stay.”
As well as describing 40 men it claims are gay, Red Pepper’s “expose” explains “how to spot a gay man,” “terminologies used by gays” and “how the gay men shaft,” a lurid description of gay sex.
It claims that lubricants are “sent to the gays here from abroad.”
Gay sex is punishable in Uganda by life imprisonment, under laws originally introduced by the British colonial administration in the nineteenth century.
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