Uganda to ban pro-gay rights NGOs for 'promotion of homosexuality'


Members of the Ugandan gay community mourn at the funeral of murdered activist David Kato near Mataba, on January 28, 2011. Although the police claim it was most likely a petty crime, many members of the gay and the human rights community hold the Ugandan government responsible for not battling the growing violence against homosexuals in the Ugandan society.


Marc Hofer

Uganda wants to ban 38 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) it says promote homosexuality and "recruit" people to be gay, a government minister has said.

Simon Lokado, the minister for ethics and integrity, told Reuters he has submitted a list of NGOs to the internal affairs ministry to be banned. The groups have not been publicly named.

"The NGOs are channels through which monies are channeled to [homosexuals] to recruit," Lokodo, who is a former Catholic priest, told Reuters.

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Homosexual acts are illegal in Uganda, and gays and lesbians have long faced serious discrimination. A bill that proposes increasing jail terms to life is currently before the Ugandan parliament.

"I have investigated and established beyond reasonable doubt that these NGOs have been involved in the promotion and recruitment in terms of the [gay] issues," Lokado told Agence France-Presse.

"The sooner we can do this the better," he added.

On Monday, Lokado ordered the breakup of a human rights workshop on the outskirts of Kampala. Armed police arrested lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists and organizers of the conference. 

This was the second time this year that Ugandan authorities have under Lokado's direction disrupted a workshop and arrested participants. 

Amnesty International repeated its call on President Yoweri Museveni's government to end its harassment of activists supporting the rights of all, regardless of sexual orientation.

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