Madness

I wanted to make sure I took note of the murder of David Kato:


As the most outspoken gay rights advocate in Uganda, a country where homophobia is so severe that Parliament is considering a bill to execute gay people, he had received a stream of death threats, his friends said. A few months ago, a Ugandan newspaper ran an antigay diatribe with Mr. Kato's picture on the front page under a banner urging, "Hang Them." 

On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Kato was beaten to death with a hammer in his rough-and-tumble neighborhood. Police officials were quick to chalk up the motive to robbery, but the small and increasingly besieged gay community in Uganda suspects otherwise. "David's death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S evangelicals in 2009," said Val Kalende, the chairwoman of one of Uganda's gay rights groups, in a statement. "The Ugandan government and the so-called U.S. evangelicals must take responsibility for David's blood." 

Mrs. Kalende was referring to visits in March 2009 by a group of American evangelicals, who held rallies and workshops in Uganda discussing how to make gay people straight, how gay men sodomized teenage boys and how "the gay movement is an evil institution" intended to "defeat the marriage-based society."

I wrote up a post on this last week, but then declined to publish. I've found that reprehensible actors are not always related. That said, I see nothing wrong with taking a moment to remember that there are powerful forces at work in Uganda--forces with American connection--who would see homosexuality made into a capital crime. Terry Gross has the story below.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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