News (World)

Uganda anti-gay newspaper ordered to stop ‘outing’ gays

A judge in Uganda has granted a permanent injunction against an anti-gay tabloid that had published addresses and photographs of some of the 100 people it named as “Uganda’s top homos” back on October.

Justice Vincent F. Musoke-Kibuuka also ruled that publishing the identities of people perceived to be homosexual, violated Uganda’s constitutional right to privacy.

The case was brought against The Rolling Stone newspaper (no relation to the U.S.-based pop culture magazine). The Ugandan tabloid began publishing in August 2010, and in October launched a campaign to expose homosexuals.

One article on Oct. 2 featured the headline, “Hang Them; They Are After Our Kids!!” and included photos. It said that gays had plans to recruit one million “innocent kids” by 2012.

A front page article Oct. 9 — titled “100 Pictures of Uganda’s Top Homos Leak” — listed the names, addresses, and photographs of 100 homosexuals alongside a yellow banner that read “Hang Them.”

At least four people said they were attacked because of the article, including one woman who said she had to move to a secret location after people began pelting her home with stones.

The petitioners in the case — three people from the gay rights group, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) — were awarded their legal fees along with $1.5-million Ugandan shillings each — about $650.

While the decision was hailed as a “landmark ruling” by gay rights activists, 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, David Bahati, a local Member of Parliament, called for the death penalty for some homosexual acts. The proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, often referred to as the “Kill the Gays Bill,” sparked international outcry, but has not yet been formally debated by parliament.

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