Will Ugandan LGBT Activism Improve Now That David Kato’s Murderer Has Gotten 30 Years?

Shortly after the African anti-gay newspaper Rolling Stone included Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato on their list of Top 100 Homos To Hang, someone murdered Mr. Kato with a hammer. That person was confessed killer Nsubuga Enock, a houseguest whom Kato had bailed out of prison shortly before. Today a Ugandan judge has put Enock away for 30 years… but has Kato’s murder also killed the fight for Ugandan LGBT rights?

Enock claims he killed Kato because Kato kept pressuring him for sex—nevermind that Enock stole Kato’s camera, computer and mobile phone after the murder. The local police have said that the murder had nothing to do with Kato’s LGBT activism—but even so, his death has certainly cast a dark pall over the future of LGBT Ugandans—especially considering that the Kill The Gays bill is still alive and that the country’s foremost LGBT organization has faced robberies and threats since Kato’s death.

Nevertheless the country’s LGBT movement continues as today Frank Mugisha received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in Washington for running an underground railroad for his country’s persecuted LGBT citizens.

Mugisha said that despite the death threats he faces, “[Uganda’s other gays and lesbians] just look at you when you talk to them, and they feel there’s hope. They feel there’s a voice out there speaking for them.”

Here’s hoping Mugisha and others can continue Kato’s work until Ugandan’s LGBTs can feel safe in their own homeland.