From what we hear, gay life in Uganda ain’t peaches and cream. Just last month, All Africa reported that 95% of Ugandan citizens disapprove of the homos.
A few days before that distressing story, anti-gay Ugandans staged a protest against newly formed gay rights group, Sexual Minorities Groups in Uganda. Of course, these attitudes aren’t anything new.
Last year, we heard about the Red Paper newspaper calling out queers and urging vigilante justice.
In an effort to raise awareness among government officials, American gay activist Michael Petrelis connected with Mr. Charles Ssentongo, the second in command at Uganda’s embassy in Washington. During their ten minute phone conversation, Sssentongo reassured Petrelis that the Ugandan government does everything in its power to protect its gays.
Though pleased to hear Ssentongo’s promise, Petrelis requested Ssentongo send a follow-up email. Surprisingly, Ssentongo agreed:
The government of Uganda guarantees the fundamental rights of all its citizens as enshrined in its constitution… I wish to assure you that our government is committed to ensuring the protection and safety of all its citizens in accordance with the laws of Uganda.
Ssentongo also describes Red Pepper as a sensationalist “tabloid”. He’d better be careful lest the editors name him in their next lavender list.