Weeks after his face was outed on the cover of a Uganda newspaper, LGBT activist David Kato has been found beaten to death in his home.
“David Kato’s death is a tragic loss to the human rights community,” said Maria Burnett, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “David had faced the increased threats to Ugandan LGBT people bravely and will be sorely missed.” Witnesses told police that a man entered Kato’s home in Mukono at around 1 p.m. on January 26, 2011, hit him twice in the head and departed in a vehicle. Kato died on his way to Kawolo hospital. Police told Kato’s lawyer that they had the registration number of the vehicle and were looking for it. Kato was the advocacy officer for the organization Sexual Minorities Uganda. He had been a leading voice in the fight against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which has been before Uganda’s parliament since October 15, 2009.
Uganda’s “kill gays” bill and the subsequent newspaper articles, where headlines screamed “HANG THEM!” next to photos of Kato and others, followed visits by American evangelicals such as Scott Lively, who encouraged locals to take a “strictly biblical” attitude towards homosexuals. Lively and his American evangelical co-conspirators have the blood of David Kato on their hands. There’s no other way to see it. They enabled this murder.