Prominent Uganda Activist David Kato Murdered In His Home After Being Named To Rolling Stone‘s ‘100 Gays’ List

David Kato, the 40-something Ugandan activist with Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), who was one of the plaintiffs who sued to shut down Rolling Stone‘s hit list of gay names and faces, has been killed, the organization relays. Kato appeared on the front page of Rolling Stone‘s Top 100 Gays list, the very piece the newspaper’s editor Giles Muhame defended himself against claims it incited violence. Witnesses spotted a man enter Kato’s home on Wednesday, hit him twice in the head (with a hammer, reportedly), and take off in a getaway car, reports Human Rights Watch.

Kato was among the lead voices on the ground lobbying against David Bahati’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. If British officials need any more reason to provide a safe haven for fellow Uganda activist Brenda Namigadde, who sought refuge in the U.K., they just received it. “In Uganda, I have nobody there,” says Namigadde, who is facing deportation this week. “If I am sent back I’ll be tortured, maybe killed. It’s very dangerous for me.” She’s not kidding.

UPDATE: American evangelicals, who helped seed and bolster Uganda’s anti-gay fear campaign, play the victim card. Muhame, the editor, insists his newspaper is not connected to Kato’s murder: “There is no need for anxiety or for hype. We should not overblow the death of one.” Police are leaning toward a blaming his death on a common robbery.

UPDATE: President Obama issued this statement: “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. “

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  • Kev C

    If I was Brenda, I would get in a car and drive out of Uganda now. I wouldn’t wait for some bureaucrats in the UK to get their shjit together. Pack up and leave now.

  • Gerald

    It is such a Sad moment for us here in Uganda, Those of use who last saw David Last Wednesday and spoke to him on fone on Monday and Tuesday this week, The memories are still so fresh, We are still finding it so hard to believe that in the next couple of days he wont be calling or texting or warning us of what is in the papers or out side our doors.

    He has been our ears and eyes in this country where u are never sure of what is going to happen to you as a gay/lesbian/transgender person at the next turn on the road to liberation. A father/mentor to many of us in this struggle, a teacher to all of us young and old and above all a trusted friend that would always be there for you no mater what bitter words you exchanged an hour before.

    The words to describe David Kato will never be and will never run out of our minds because he is so dearly missed already. We jsut cant stop grieving for such a loss for the words “May his soul rest in peace” are just not enough to give us the strength to move on in such time.

    Good bye David

  • redball

    Grammar Fail:

    “…spotted a man enter…, hit…, and TAKE [not “took”] off….”

    Queerty, sometimes reading you hurts my head! But I always come back b/c the site is fun and, yes, informative :)

  • jason

    This is shocking and horrific news. The editor of Rolling Stone needs to be arrested for incitement to murder. We need to put pressure on the UN. The UN has been virtually silent on Uganda’s homophobic campaigns. Let’s put an end to aid to this backward dump.

    If they want to join the community of nations, let them prove that they are not backward savages.

  • Adam

    Sick, sick, sick! This is an outrage. Savage ass country.

  • Francis

    What a tragedy and an outrage! RIP to David Kato. My heart goes out to all of the LGBT individuals in Uganda. What a tragic situation going on in that country. They are using gays as a scapegoat. Hopefully there is another leader in that country who can step up with the loss of Kato. There needs to be much more international attention and action brought against Uganda, and these other homophobic countries, and these amnesty organizations need to take these threats seriously. These countries are trying to wipe away the entire gay population and need to be stopped immediately.

  • the crustybastard

    I suppose it was the Christian thing to do.

  • Nathan

    This is awful, I really hope that the deportation of Brenda Namigadde will be stopped otherwise she will probably end up like David Kato.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    What pisses me off is the cops are saying this was a “robbery” not a gay killing.

  • T.

    Bravest man I’ve ever met. What a tragedy.

  • SG

    Really sad news but the President’s statement couldn’t be better. Really well-written and hits all the right notes.

  • Danny

    This is why Jewish people teach their young people how to fight and defend themselves. As a minority, gay people need to do the same – teaching young gay people and their straight friends how to fight and defend themselves against the evil people out there who want to commit genocide against them. If you don’t stand up to defend your own human rights, no one else will.

  • ewe

    The murderers must be executed to send the message that this will not be tolerated. It is the only message that most ignorant creatures will pay attention to.

  • jason

    I am all for every single gay person learning the martial arts. Every single one of us.

    As for David Kato’s murder, the person who did it was a policeman.

  • Queer Supremacist - Put Homophobes In Gas Chambers

    My solution to homophobia:

    Every gay man and woman needs to be armed to the teeth. 38’s, 45’s, AK-47s, BB Guns, I don’t care, as long as it can be used to show the breeders that if you try to bash us, you have signed your death certificate.

    You gay gun haters need to get over your hoplophobia. The Second Amendment is as much a friend of the gays as the first.

  • FlameoftheWest

    Mr. Kato you’re a hero and a courageous human being and your work to make the world a better place will never be forgotten.

  • Master John

    Stupid ass African countries and their outdated points of view. They truly embarrass me as a Black person with this non sense. Even if the mind set is due to homophobia during colonization, you would think that at some point they could rub their minimal brain cells, and stop hating. These are the same people that cry racism, and bigotry and then do it to OTHERS just the same. I love my ancestors but knowing what I know I would never waste money visiting.

  • Nathan

    @Master John: Morally repugnant points of view here, blaming the victims of colonization and white evangelism. Found a picture of Master John IRL, guys:


  • Master John

    Real catty with the cartoon pictures.


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