Thursday, 30 January 2014

Archbishops of Canterbury and York Condemn Stance

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to the presidents of Nigeria and Uganda, after being asked about laws there penalising gay people... 
Archbishop Welby's stance on homosexual relationships has created tension with more traditionalist Anglicans... 
But he says he still supports the Church of England's opposition to active homosexuality.

So, basically, you're still evil, but it's okay because the church of England forgives you.

If you give a crap, you can find the whole letter online.

Follows on from the former Archbishop of Canterbury speaking out.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Paul Shinners Action

We were contacted the other day by a fellow activist who wanted to draw our attention to the ongoing action against Paul Shinners.

This time last year, British preacher Shinners was spewing spurious scripture at a rally in Uganda organised by lead gay-hate campaigner Bishop David Kiganda.

This led us to highlight the fact that Shinners is a Trustee of a UK charity (registration number 1131321), Passion For Souls Ministries. It turns over more than £30,000 a year, although it can't seem to get its returns filed on time.

We launched a campaign to complain to the Charity Commission of England & Wales that preaching gay hate was not an appropriate charitable activity.

The Charity Commission responded by ignoring these concerns completely, and instead denied registration to the global gay rights organisation Human Dignity Trust, who are lawyered up and awaiting a date for the appeal hearing some time next month.

What our contact wrote to tell us, is that despite the Charity Commission's disinterest in Shinners, he is by no means off the hook for his hatemongering:

The article, by rights campaigner Melanie Nathan, follows on from An Open Letter to Paul Shinners, who has persistently refused to respond to questions about his role in stirring up anti-gay sentiment.

It ends with the following ultimatum:

After 72 hours,  I plan to evaluate the following:- 
1. Pursue the investigation of crimes against humanity under International, UK, USA, EU laws in similar fashion to what we did here in the USA with Scott Lively, in SMUG vs. Lively, as undertaken by the Center for Constitutional Rights (; 
2. Pursue including you on the developing Magnitsky-type list of LGBT persecutors denied entry into the USA; 
3. Pursue civil lawsuits as are available to the people directly impacted by your persecutory actions.

In addition to this, we would urge all campaigners once again to contact the Charity Commission to voice concern over his position as head of a UK Charity. Simply e-mail and tweet @ChtyCommission

[UPDATE, FEB 2014: You can also join the Paul Shinners protest page here.]

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Cheptoyek's Life in Danger

Bernard Randall is safely home in the UK and has given an interview to the BBC.

Meanwhile, his Ugandan partner, Cheptoyek, fears for his life: 

Ugandan faces death threats after partner deported over gay sex video: Albert Cheptoyek fears for his life in Uganda after Briton Bernard Randall is deported for video found on stolen laptop

The Ugandan partner of a British man deported to the UK after being found with a gay-sex video has received death threats from neighbours. 
Albert Cheptoyek, 30, said he expected to be jailed because of his sexuality, had been rejected by his local community, and feared for his life now the international spotlight had moved on following Bernard Randall's expulsion from Uganda. Randall, from Kent, moved to Uganda last year but his new life soured after his laptop, with images of him having sex with a man in Morocco, was stolen during a break-in at his home. The images were sent to a tabloid newspaper, prompting the arrest of the couple.

His future is uncertain, but we will continue to report on any progress.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Interview With Sam Ganafa

Sam Ganafa, Director of Spectrum Uganda and Chairman of SMUG 

On 15th November 2013, we reported on the arrest of Sam Ganafa.

Not a lot had been reported since then, but in this excellent coverage by American aid worker JP Conly, we learn that Sam was released a week later, pending trial. In this report, Conly meets with several LGBT activitsts and gets to the bottom of what really happened:

A diabetic, Sam said that while he was in jail he was not given any medical treatment for his condition. Authorities eventually allowed Sam’s friends to bring him the medicine he needed and food to sustain him. 
After his release, Sam said he could not return home. His neighbors were informed of his arrest and he was told that if he returned home his house would be burned to the ground. 
I was surprised to learn that Sam said he has no intention of leaving Uganda even if he was given the opportunity. His court date in January has been postponed until February, coincidentally after the Anti-Homosexuality Bill had passed parliament without a proper quorum. Sam’s current charge is “crimes against the order of nature.”

More news on Sam's case as and when it happens.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Fox News Slinks Away from LGBT Rights

Interesting report out by Media Metters for America, which shows Fox News channel's complete avoidance of the Ugandan homosexuality bill.

Fox News spent just 15 seconds covering Uganda's anti-homosexuality law between December 16 and December 27 compared to more than seven minutes of coverage on CNN and two minutes of coverage on MSNBC... Fox's Only Mention Of Uganda Was During A Segment On Justice with Judge Jeanine Criticizing Pro-Equality Activists For Focusing On Duck Dynasty:

If anyone is the least bit surprised by this, there's a corner you can go stand in on your own. 'News' is a word dubiously applied to the Fox network.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Bernard Randall to be Deported

Final confirmation of what we all suspected. Uganda is deporting Bernard Randall, as they did David Cecil, rather than force him to stand trial. The BBC covering it with a title as dignified as a trash tabloid:

Judge Hellen Ajio ordered Mr Randall should be deported from Uganda within 12 hours, the AFP agency reported. 
Mr Randall, who first appeared in court in Uganda in November, would have faced a possible two-year prison sentence if found guilty. 
He was charged alongside his friend Albert Cheptoyek, 30, a Ugandan national with whom he shares a house. 
Mr Cheptoyek told the BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga that Mr Randal was being held in the court's cells awaiting his deportation. 
Mr Cheptoyek has denied a more serious charge of carrying out "acts of gross indecency", which could see him jailed for up to seven years if found guilty. 
Ms Byaruhanga said the charges against Mr Cheptoyek still stood as the trial against both men had not officially started.

Welcome home Bernard, we wish you all the best in recovering from your horrific ordeal.

We will continue to cover Mr Cheptoyek's case as news becomes available.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Bill Doesn't Need to Pass to be Imposed

Excellent interview from LGBT Weekly.

It brings to light the problem that has been building since the bill was introduced in 2009, that the Anti-Gay Bill does not need to pass for people to use it as an excuse to attack LGBTI people.

As we already know, it leads to people living in fear, being attacked in the street, and being denied health care. Yet there is a sense that so long as Museveni doesn't assent the bill, LGBTI people are safe. This is not the case. The fact that the bill is even on the table gives the green light to all manner of human rights violations, as highlighted in the above video.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Amsterdam Protests Bill, Canada Acts

Today a mass protest was held in Amsterdam, organised by Uganda Gay on Move, calling on the Ugandan government to drop the bill altogether.

The Ugandan Diaspora group, Uganda GAY on the Move, held a well attended “Drop The Bill Protest” in Amsterdam today, at the Homomonument Westerkerk, to send a message of solidarity home to Uganda’s LGBTI community and to implore upon Uganda’s Parliament to drop the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which was passed in December and it is believed has been returned to Uganda’s Parliament by President Museveni. 

Wielding signs, with Kuchu insignias on the Ugandan flag and rainbow flags, the group was joined by members of Amsterdam’s LGBT community and straight allies, in a show of love and solicitude.

Although America has been rather silent on this issue, their neighbours have been far more pro-active on similar issues:

Friday, 17 January 2014

President Museveni Blocks Bahati Bill

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has refused to sign off on a controversial anti-gay bill passed by his parliament, saying there are other ways of dealing with “abnormal” people.

The video below is from this article: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni Opposes Anti-Gay Bill

President Yoweri Museveni's opposition to the bill comes despite pressure from evangelicals as well from lawmakers from his own party.  
But Frank Mugisha, a prominent Ugandan gay activist, said gays are not celebrating the president's words that were published Friday in Kampala's Daily Monitor newspaper, noting that his characterization of gays "creates more hatred" of them.  
In his letter to parliament speaker Rebecca Kadaga, written days after lawmakers passed the bill in December, Museveni called for the bill to be revised and wondered what to do "with an abnormal person? Do we kill him/her? Do we imprison him/her? Or we do contain him/her?" Museveni said homosexuals need economic rehabilitation, not the threat of severe punishment.

When the president of the country is this ignorant, what hope is left for the average wo/man on the street?

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Parliament Watch

We'd just like to give a shout out to the fantastic Twitter feed Parliament Watch (@pwatchug). Does what it says on the tin. Excellent place to get up-to-date, accurate news on everything that's happening in the Ugandan parliament.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Kadaga Accuses Bullies

Rebecca Kadaga

If our last post about Uganda leading the way in gay porn didn't have you laughing out loud, we doubt you'll be able to keep a straight (no pun intended) face about this one.

Rebecca Kedaga, one of the world's biggest bullies, is crying because she feels bullied!

Uganda’s speaker Rebecca Kadaga has told Western countries to back off and stop ‘bullying’ them on anti-gay laws.

The parliament speaker, who once promised to pass a ‘Kill The Gays’ bill as a Christmas present to Ugandans, has said their country can make its own decisions.

Wow. We can really see why she was promoted to Chairperson of Women Parliamentarians by the Commonwealth. She's a sparkling example of everything they stand for. She even missed out on last year's Pink Brick Award because Ugandan LGBTI activists were too afraid to let the nomination go ahead.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Uganda Leads Gay Porn Search

David Bahati

Last year, Google published statistics about the places in the world where their search engine was most used to find gay porn sites. The results were extraordinary. According to its figures, Uganda is third on the list of counties where "man fucking man" is most searched for, behind Kenya and Pakistan, both of which are countries where homosexuality is illegal. These figures also demonstrate a high degree of correlation between places of conservative religious practice and internet searches for gay porn.

It has long been known that the most vehemently homophobic men are also the ones who get most aroused by gay porn.

With that in mind, it's hardly surprising that a country which is home to David Bahati, Solomon Male  and Martin Ssempa leads the world in gay porn views. We reckon it probably peaked when Scott Lively came to visit.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

London Protests the Bahati Bill

more pictures here

Today, a large rally was held in London to protest the adoption of Uganda's Anti-Gay Bill.

The protesters chanted: “Gay rights in Uganda. Gay rights in Africa. Gay rights everywhere” and “2-4-6-8. Museveni, don’t hesitate. 3-5-7-9. Stop the anti-gay bill, don’t sign.”

The protestors made four key demands:

  1. We urge President Yoweri Museveni to not sign the bill.
  2. We call on the Ugandan parliament to repeal the current criminalisation of homosexuality under sections 145, 146 and 148 of the penal code.
  3. We urge the Members of Parliament to vote against the bill if it is brought back to parliament.
  4. We ask Ugandan and international political, cultural, religious and business leaders to speak out against the Bill and to defend the human rights of LGBTI Ugandans.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Bahati Bill Denies HIV/AIDS Treatment and Education

Image from Uganda Versus The Modern Day World

There has been a huge amount of scrutiny over how the recently adopted Bahati Bill will affect HIV/AIDS treatment in Uganda, a country quick to undo its previous progress on this issue.

During 2013 Spectrum Uganda Initiatives Inc. provided health care and related services to Uganda’s LGBTI and HIV/AIDS community. The group reached close to 500 men who have sex with other men (MSM) with HIV/AIDS/STD prevention, treatment, care and support services  in Central, Eastern, Western and Northern  areas of Kampala , Wakiso, Mpigi , Entebbe , Mukono,  Busia , Bududa , Arua and Hoima districts...

On 20th December 2013 the Ugandan Parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill which entrenches hatred and discrimination against those who are, or who are believed to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI)...

The severe impact of this bill has started eroding way the efforts to combat HIV-AIDS and STDS among sexual minorities in Uganda.  Health service providers are steadily pulling out in this struggle for fear of their lives and jobs. The Bill, though yet to see finality into law,  is already driving people underground, and will continue to disrupt the collection and dissemination of accurate and imperative information.

Threats, hateful speeches and discrimination from religious leaders, politicians and even biased media are increasing and resulting into insecurity to  peer educators, staff and LGBTI community, which is hampering health service delivery. When this law is enacted, it is anticipated, according to Spectrum, that it will get even worse.

The draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill passed by Uganda’s parliament on 20 December would deliver a major blow to the response to HIV/AIDS if it was enacted by President Yoweri Museveni, activists have warned. Those found guilty of homosexual acts can be jailed for up to 14 years under the new law, a sentence that increases to life in “aggravated” cases, such as those committed by an HIV positive person, or those involving minors, the disabled and serious offenders.

Civil society activists fear that high-risk groups such as men who have sex with men (MSM) and sex workers – whose HIV prevalence is 13.7 and 33 percent respectively – will see their already limited access to prevention and treatment further eroded.

Amnesty International called the law “a grave assault on human rights [which] makes a mockery of the Ugandan constitution...

Pepe Julian Onziema, programme director, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a local rights group

“It's with deep disappointment that I receive the news of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill passing in our Parliament.”

“If the bill is assented to, the Act would spell a major setback for Uganda's gains against HIV/AIDS as it will compromise doctor-patient confidentiality, which will push affected LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) persons further underground for fear of prosecution.”

The article goes on to list 'a selection of reactions from those working on the frontline of the response to HIV/AIDS.'

Reporter Wambi Michael takes a more personal approach on the ground, talking to local health workers and LGBTI service users:

At an unremarkable office on Bukoto Street in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, health workers and civil society activists attend a regular meeting to offer information and advice on living with HIV and AIDS. What is unusual is that these information sessions cater to a group of around 50 transgender women...

The turning point for the group [Come Out Post-Test Club] was in April [2013] when a colleague, Abbey Mukasa Love, died.

“Abby wouldn’t have died if the nurses and doctors had not stigmatised her,” says Black. “They wrote the word ‘gay’ on her file. We decided to come out and form a support group and 20 of us began holding meetings every Sunday. We would invite some people to talk to us about treatment and prevention. It was not easy for many of us to come out.”

It is clear that the bill is not only damaging to LGBTI freedom, but to public health and the Ugandan economy.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Against the Order of Nature

We saw this in The Huffington Post: 'Against The Order Of Nature,' Lee Price Project, To Document LGBT Uganda and though it was an interesting and worthwhile project. 

Though there may be problems with crowd-sourcing an idea like this, as it could jeopardise his chances of getting a visa. Having advertised his intention to enter the country as an openly gay man, it could even lead to his arrest now that the bill has been adopted by parliament and is awaiting assent. Might find himself sharing a cell with Bernard Randall. Also, being caught with video footage of gay people you've interviewed not only compromises your own freedom, but also theirs.

This is the problem once human rights start to get shut down, the ability to document abuses becomes more difficult. Often why reporting goes undercover.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Welsh Pressure on Minister Carwyn Jones

Welsh Minister Carwyn Jones

Stonewall Cymru, a leading gay rights group in Wales, has urged First Minister Carwyn Jones to speak out about the anti-gay bill in Uganda when he visits there next week. 

Gay Star News reported that the minister has a good record on gay rights domestically, and that this would be a good opportunity to bring up the situation in Uganda whilst there.

As members of Ugandan's parliament celebrated the adoption of the bill last month, it became more obvious that external pressure must be applied if there is any way for this bill to be defeated. Take a look at our Take Action section for ways to get involved, and also our Campaing Groups section for a list of other campaign groups to join.

You can also e-mail the Welsh First Minister yourself at:

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Museveni Responds

Mussolini                                     Museveni

The Anti-Gay Bill has been adopted by parliament and now waits to be signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni.

You can e-mail the Office of the President to urge him not to:

However, we're not holding out much hope. This is the guy who reckons there is 'no discrimination' and 'no marginalization' of gay people in his country.

The United Nations human rights office today called on the President of Uganda to refrain from signing the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law, and urged the country to ensure the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from violence and discrimination.

His response was to tell everyone to back off whilst he takes time to think about it: Uganda President Yoweri Museveni 'Won't Be Pressured' On Anti-Gay Law 

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni will not rush to approve a controversial anti-gay draft law, widely criticised internationally but overwhelmingly backed by local political and religious leaders, his spokesman said on Thursday.
Uganda's parliament adopted the bill on December 20. It will see repeat offenders jailed for life, sparking an international outcry as lawmakers hailed it as a victory against "evil"...
"President Museveni is a practical president, he takes decisions based on analysis and not on how many support or are against it," [spokesman Tamale Mirundi] added. 

This will be a defining moment in Museveni's presidency. He can't continue to play both sides. Will he practically decide to remain in power with the support of the majority of his cabinet, or will he practically decide to risk it all and make a stand on human rights by telling them they're a bunch of numpties?