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Gay British radio personality flees Uganda after threats by anti-gay MP

Sunday, February 13, 2011
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A popular BBC radio host was forced to flee armed police in Uganda, after revealing to British-educated politician and member of Uganda’s parliament, David Bahati, that he is gay.

Scott Mills and a BBC production crew were in Uganda to film an upcoming television special titled “The Worst Place to Be Gay?”

During an interview with Bahati, the key author of Uganda’s anti-homosexuality legislation — often referred to as the “Kill the Gays” bill — Mills told him he is gay and Bahati became furious.

Mills, 36, told reporters that the MP went “mental” and called for armed backup.

“He was scary. He ordered us to cut the cameras then brought a security guard,” Mills recalled. “We ran off and he rang one of our guys saying, ‘Where are they staying? What are the registration plates? I want them arrested. They won’t get far.’”

One of Mills’ colleagues lied about where the group was staying, buying them more time for escape.

“I’d heard horror stories about people getting arrested and roughed up and who knows what,” said Mills. “I was scared.”

Uganda is one of more than 35 African nations that have outlawed homosexuality.

Human rights activists say Uganda, with a population of 31 million, has some 500,000 gays and lesbians, and that the LGBT community continues to live in fear.

Last year, Bahati called for the death penalty for some homosexual acts. The proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, has sparked international outcry, but has not yet been formally debated by parliament.

Mills’ report, “The World’s Worst Place to be Gay?,” will be shown on BBC Three on Monday, Feb. 14.

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