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White House issues statement honoring murdered Ugandan gay rights activist

Thursday, January 27, 2011

David Kato

WASHINGTON — The White House today issued the following statement by President Barack Obama regarding the murder of Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato:

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder of David Kato. In Uganda, David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate. He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom. The United States mourns his murder, and we recommit ourselves to David’s work.

“At home and around the world, LGBT persons continue to be subjected to unconscionable bullying, discrimination, and hate. In the weeks preceding David Kato’s murder in Uganda, five members of the LGBT community in Honduras were also murdered. It is essential that the Governments of Uganda and Honduras investigate these killings and hold the perpetrators accountable.

“LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights. My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all.”

Kato was found Wednesday having been beaten in the skull with a hammer a his home. Last year, he was featured in the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone, which featured names and photos of gay men under the headline “HANG THEM!”

Homosexulaity in Uganda is a criminal offense punishable in some cases by life imprisonment.

Lawmaker David Bahati has sponsored legislation that would introduce some of the toughest anti-gay punishments in the world, with a minimum life sentence for anyone convicted of having gay sex, and a mandatory death penalty if they were HIV-positive.

The bill, commonly referred to as the “Kill the Gays” bill, would also ban the “promotion of homosexuality,” making it a crime to advocate on behalf of gay rights.

Kato and his group, Sexual Minorities Uganda, had campaigned against the bill.

Earlier on Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement, “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and colleagues. We urge Ugandan authorities to quickly and thoroughly investigate and prosecute those responsible for this heinous act.”

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13 more reader comments:

  1. I think that was real nice. Soo sorry this man was murdered. What a waist of a human life. I’m sure that they won’t even look for the people that did this.

    Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 4:21pm
  2. People need to stop their dumb hate crimes, it’s not like lgbtq people bash straight people. All this nonesense needs to stop. People need to learn to love people for who they are.

    Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 4:58pm
  3. ^agreee!^

    Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 9:57pm
  4. like the fact he’s being honored, not so much about how he was killed…

    Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 10:08pm
  5. It’s a really sad state of mind to even realize that awful things like this can even be allowed to happen…….

    Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 10:21pm
  6. The money and information coming to these extremist groups are coming from american fundamentalism. We need to stop homophobia and religious fervor at its source.

    Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 10:42pm
  7. So called Christians are fueling this fire. I grew up in a church that taught love.

    Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 10:46pm
  8. Such a terrible tragedy!…

    Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 11:11pm
  9. When is all this stuff going to stop with the gays?….What happened to having equal rights for str8s, gays, lesibians, and other minority groups around the world?

    Posted on Friday, January 28, 2011 at 12:45am
  10. whats that fuckk pfff

    Posted on Friday, January 28, 2011 at 1:01am
  11. The three American Missionaries who went to Uganda to incite Antigay violence should be tried at The Hague for crimes against humanity. David Schmierer, Scott Lively and Caleb Lee Brundidge are their names. Read the article on the NYTimes corroborating this.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/world/africa/28uganda.html?_r=2&ref=worldSee More
    2 seconds ago · LikeUnlike

    Posted on Friday, January 28, 2011 at 8:42am
  12. Becouse of the hate agenda that some ameicans brought to Uganda via those whom call them selves servants of God and whom are realy the children of the father of lies has murdered a saint. This man has lived the God like principles mentioned in the bible and has paid the ultimate price just as the saints in the new testemant. David Kato’s reward in heaven is great.

    Posted on Friday, January 28, 2011 at 8:35pm
  13. Becouse of the hate agenda that some ameicans brought to Uganda via those whom call them selves servants of God and whom are realy the children of the father of lies has murdered a saint. This man has lived the God like principles mentioned in the bible and has paid the price just as the saints in the new testemant. David Kato’s reward in heaven is great.

    Posted on Friday, January 28, 2011 at 8:37pm