Gay Man Beaten to Death by Religious Zealots

The New York Times has the story.

NAIROBI, Kenya — An outspoken Ugandan gay activist whose picture recently appeared in an anti-gay newspaper under the headline “Hang Them” was beaten to death in his home, Ugandan police said on Thursday.

David Kato, the activist, was one of the most visible defenders of gay rights in a country so homophobic that government leaders have proposed to execute gay people. Mr. Kato and other gay people in Uganda had recently warned that their lives were endangered, and four months ago a local paper called Rolling Stone published a list of gay people, and Mr. Kato’s face was on the front page.

He was attacked in his home Wednesday afternoon and beaten in the head with a hammer, said Judith Nabakooba, a police spokeswoman. But police officials said they don’t believe this was a hate crime.

“It looks like theft, as some things were stolen,” Mrs. Nabakooba said.

Gay activists disagreed and said Mr. Kato was singled out for his outspoken defense of gay rights. “David’s death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S. Evangelicals in 2009,” said Val Kalende, the chairperson of one of Uganda’s gay rights groups, in a statement. “The Ugandan government and the so-called U.S. evangelicals must take responsibility for David’s blood!”

Mrs. Kalende was referring to visits in March 2009 by a group of American evangelicals who held anti-gay rallies and church leaders who authored the anti-gay bill, which is still pending, attended those meetings and said that they had worked with the Americans on their bill.

Don’t you hate the way Muslims Christians are always resorting to violence? You’d almost think that Jesus ever said anything about homosexuality.

I’m guessing press coverage here would be slightly different if we had any reason to believe the murderers were Muslims. “Honor killing” springs to mind. But when it’s Christians, they don’t even mention it.

Take David Bahati, for instance, the Ugandan MP who introduced the “death-to-gays” bill. His Wikipedia entry makes no mention of his religion (Christian). Think it’d be the same if he were Muslim?

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