White House reaction to the murder of Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato

LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights. My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all.

— President Obama, reacting to news of the murder of Ugandan activist David Kato

Earlier today, Alvin blogged about this horrific development in Uganda, which is an example state-sanctioned homophobia (Did Scott Lively’s homophobic ‘nuclear bomb’ cause a death in Uganda?)

Photobucket Last week, anti-gay activist Scott Lively whined in a local Boston newspaper that he is being unfairly criticized for his stances against the lgbt community, including playing a huge role in the creation of the infamous “kill the gays” bill in Uganda.

After an incident in Uganda yesterday, he may want to keep his mouth shut:

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.

This level of violence has not gone unnoticed by the Obama administration — and the President himself.


Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release January 27, 2011

Statement by the President on the Killing of David Kato

I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder of David Kato. In Uganda, David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate. He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom. The United States mourns his murder, and we recommit ourselves to David’s work.

At home and around the world, LGBT persons continue to be subjected to unconscionable bullying, discrimination, and hate. In the weeks preceding David Kato’s murder in Uganda, five members of the LGBT community in Honduras were also murdered. It is essential that the Governments of Uganda and Honduras investigate these killings and hold the perpetrators accountable.

LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights. My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all.

And Rep. Tammy Baldwin released a statement:

Statement of Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin on the Murder of Ugandan LGBT Advocate David Kato

January 27, 201

“I am deeply saddened and greatly angered by the brutal murder of Ugandan LGBT advocate David Kato.  I extend my condolences to David’s family, friends, and brave colleagues at Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and pledge that their work, for which David gave his life, will not be in vain.  I stand with them in the quest for LGBT equality in Uganda and around the world.”

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

What’s Brewing: Ugandan gay activist murdered; Ark. store unshields magazine; Ted Haggard

Your weekday morning blend from Instant Tea:

1. A prominent opponent of Uganda’s “kill gays” legislation has been beaten to death at his home in the African country, according to Human Rights Watch. Gay activist David Kato’s murder comes a little more than three months after he was outed on the cover of a tabloid magazine that called for him and others to be hanged (above). Then again, violent rhetoric shouldn’t be blamed for murder, right? So this item is probably just another example of “blood libel.”

2. Speaking of magazine covers, Harps Food Stores issued a statement Wednesday saying it has removed a shield that was placed over a magazine cover depicting (gasp!) gay parents at one of its stores in Arkansas. The company says it removed the shield from a US Weekly cover featuring Elton John and his family in response to complaints received at its corporate office. Watch Anderson Cooper discuss the controversy with Dr. Phil below.

3. Disgraced televangelist Ted Haggard says he’s “bisexual” in a new GQ interview but claims he only used the meth he bought from escort Mike Jones for masturbation. C’mon, does Haggard really think he can get into Heaven with that lame excuse?

—  John Wright

Ugandan gay activist David Kato found murdered at his home in Kampala

Very disturbing. Jim Burroway has the details at Box Turtle Bulletin:

We have learned that Ugandan LGBT advocate David Kato Kisulle was murdered today at his home in Kampala. Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) has confirmed that the David’s body was identified at a hospital.

Update: I have also confirmed this with SMUG’s Pepe Julian Onziema, who identified David’s body in the hospital morgue. Police are investigating. We really don’t know anything more at this point.

The details surrounding his murder are unknown at this time. He was reportedly beaten in the skull with a hammer at his home. We do not yet know whether it was a single assailant or a group of people, nor do we know any other circumstances surrounding his death.

David Kato was a spokesperson for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and one of the plaintiffs (or applicants) in the successful lawsuit seeking a permanent injunction against the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone (no relation to the U.S. publication of the same name). Kato was one of three applicants who had been named by the tabloid under a headline tagged “Hang Them!”


—  admin

Flight of the bumbling B-movie

LET’S ROLL, KATO  |  A PG-13 Seth Rogen, far left, is as toothless as his incompetent ‘super- hero’ Britt Reid — it’s Kato (Jay Chou) who does all the work.

Rogen’s soft, muddled ‘Green Hornet’ is a noisy mess of 3-D nonsense

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  |  Life+Style Editor

The first question you have to ask yourself before going to see The Green Hornet is: “Do I really want to see a Seth Rogen movie that’s rated PG-13 instead of R?” (Actually, the first question is, “Do I want to see a Seth Rogen movie, period.”) Let’s face it: Rogen’s style — cultivated in Superbad, Knocked Up and Pineapple Express — is of the joint-toking, foul-mouthed slacker. It’s not even fair to call it “frat boy” humor, as Rogen exudes the air of someone who never even took the SAT, not to mention applied to college. Nope, if Seth doesn’t get to say “fuck” or “pussy” every eighth word, there’s really not much to keep you interested. And even then…

While his script for The Green Hornet shows familiarity with its source material, it doesn’t know how to update it in any way that makes for a competent movie. Britt Reid (Rogen) is the roustabout son of a newspaper magnate; when daddy dies, Britt inherits the publisher’s job and dad’s driver, a martial artist-auto mechanic-techno wizard-barista savant called Kato (Jay Chou). They come up with a cockamamie plan to become superheroes who pose as villains. Only Britt has no heroic skills: No speed or brains or bravery or strength. It’s the Kato show, and he takes all the credit.

That might actually be a good movie — the sidekick does all the work and gets none of the credit, a la Wallace & Gromit — but Rogen and director Michel Gondry are afraid to go full-tilt that way. Instead, they clutter the film with comic bits (half of which fall flat) and 3-D effects (whose cheesiness distracts from the action more than intensifying it).

Maybe — maybe — if the action sequences weren’t edited with buzzsaw freneticism and Gondry hadn’t devolved into fast-motion scenes that looked lame in noisy farces back in the 1960s, we could appreciate more his bravura split-screen montage (a dazzling bit of flamboyance) and the performance of Christoph Waltz (the best scene in the film is one with Waltz doing a cameo with James Franco). But Gondry has a skewed take on Americana — low-brow and filtered through pretentious European sensibilities — and the result here is as clumsy and unpredictable as Rogen’s perpetually fluctuating girth.

The Green Hornet’s release was long delayed, reportedly to work out the 3-D effects, but what they really needed to do was work on the screenplay: Ditch the extraneous Cameron Diaz as a love interest and explore more the suggested homoerotic longings between Britt and Kato. That could give the phrase “getting stung by the Green Hornet” a whole new meaning — and a lot more comic momentum.

This appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 14, 2011.

—  John Wright