For David Kato Part 1

Live video from the memorial service (please excuse the quality).

NuWine Press is not just concerned about equality movements, in particular, the equality movement for people with disabilities for LGBT individuals, for women, and people of all races and socio-economic standings, it is also particularly concerned about where these equality movements intersect with faith, and especially the Christian faith.

Consequentially, the murder of David Kato affects us deeply and honestly, should affect and change everyone in this country. Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato was not just bludgeoned to death with a hammer because he was gay, he was also the victim of a fire stoked by an influential Evangelical Christian group based here in the U.S. (see “From CNN” below).

Too often, the church of the God who said He: “So loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” is on the side of haters and the killers.

To those who continue to be responsible for spreading hatred of LGBT people whether from the pulpit or in High School locker rooms, or on the streets, I can only say as Pastor Calvin Butts did at Kato’s NY Memorial Service (see “Obituary” below): “There is room at the cross for you.”

From CNN:

  • “In an interview last year, Kato told CNN he feared for his life after a local Ugandan tabloid listed him as one of the country’s “top homosexuals.” Kato was also a strong advocate for gay rights in a country where homosexual acts are considered crimes.
  • Prior to his murder, he fought against proposed legislation that would potentially increase the maximum punishment from life in prison to death.
  • Demonstrators in Washington said that the Fellowship Foundation, the Christian organizers behind the National Prayer Breakfast, have supported that legislation. David Bahati, the Ugandan parliamentary member who introduced the anti-gay bill, is associated with the Christian group.
  • The Fellowship Foundation is also known as the Family, after a book by that name that was published about the group several years ago.” (Gay rights advocates question Obama’s prayer breakfast appearance By Padmananda Rama, CNN)

Obituary for David Kato

This is an obituary for David Kato, as printed in the program for David Kato’s NY Memorial Service,  held February, 2011 at Abyssinian Baptist Church. The Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III Pastor. On the program were Min. Andrea Vassell and Rev. Vanessa Brown, Pastor Rivers of Living Waters and Family of Faith Churches; Rev. Stacey Latimer, Pastor, Love Alive International Ministry; Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Pastor, Metropolitan Community Church, New York; Frank Mugisha, Executive Director, Sexual Minorities Uganda; Charles Radcliffe, Sr. Advisor to the High Commissioner on LGBT Human Rights; Rev. Dr. Michael Walrond Jr. Pastor, First Corinthian Baptist Church; Elder Joseph W. Tolton, Pastor, Rehoboth Temple Christ Conscious Church, Consultant, The Global Justice Institute.

Obituary Text:

“Born to the Kisule clan in its ancestral village of Nakawala, Namataba Town Council, Mukono district, Kato received the name “Kato” from the fact that he was the younger twin brother of another sibling, John Malumba Wasswa. He came out to his family members before he left to spend a few years in Johannesburg, South Africa during its transition from apartheid to multiracial democracy, becoming influenced by the end of the apartheid-era ban on sodomy and the growth of LGBT rights in the country. He came back to Uganda in 1998 and, not long afterward, was held in police custody for a week due to his activism. He became highly involved with the underground LGBT rights movement in Uganda, eventually becoming one of the founding members of SMUG (Sexual Minorities Uganda). By 2010, he had quit his job as a school teacher in order to focus on his work with SMUG in light of the events surrounding the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Kato was among the 100 people whose names and photographs were published in October 2010 by the Ugandan tabloid newspaper Rolling Stone in an article which called for their execution as homosexuals. Kato and two other SMUG members who were also listed in the article, Kasha Jacqueline and Onziema Patience, sued the newspaper to force it to stop publishing the names and pictures of people it believed were gay or lesbian. The photos were published under a headline of “Hang Them” and were accompanied by the individual’s addresses. The petition was granted on November 2, 2010, effectively ruling for the end of Rolling Stone. Giles Muhame, the paper’s managing editor, commented, “I haven’t seen the court injunction but the war against gays will and must continue. We have to protect our children from this dirty homosexual affront.” On January 3, 2011, High Court Justice V.F. Kibuuka Musoke ruled that Rolling Stone’s publication of the lists, and the accompanying incitation to violence, threatened Kato’s and the others “fundamental rights and freedoms,” attacked the right to human dignity, and violated their constitutional right to privacy. The court ordered the newspaper to pay Kato and the other two plaintiffs 1.5 million Ugandan shillings each ($646.50 US).

On January 26, 2011, while talking on the phone with SMUG member Julian Pepe Onziema, Kato was assaulted in his home in Mukono Town by at least one unknown male assailant who hit him twice in the head with a hammer before fleeing on foot. Kato later died en route to the Kawolo Hospital.”

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