Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was killed in his home Wednesday. If you're curious, he was bludgeoned and beaten to death. With a hammer.
Kato's death comes as the Ugandan parliament considers a long-lingering bill that would criminalize gay-rights advocacy and add the death penalty as possible punishment for gay people in certain cases. Uganda is not a safe place for the LGBT community. Simply being gay is illegal. Politicians are becoming increasingly comfortable making public statements like, "Homosexuals can forget about human rights." A newspaper recently published a list of prominent gay Ugandans -- including Kato -- and called for them to be hanged.
But could the blame for Kato's death actually stretch back to Kansas City lunatic Lou Engle? The
New York Times quoted an activist who placed the blame on
certain prominent American holy men. From the piece:
Police officials were quick to chalk up the motive to
members of the small and increasingly besieged gay community in Uganda
"David's death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S.
evangelicals in 2009," Val Kalende, the chairwoman of one of
gay-rights groups, said in a statement. "The Ugandan government and the
so-called U.S. evangelicals must take responsibility for David's blood."
U.S. evangelicals like Engle. Although
Kalende was referring in part to a trip three American preachers made in
March 2009, we should remember that Engle made his own sojourn of
hate to Uganda in 2010.
Engle's work to demonize gay people is a long and well-documented one.
He moved to California briefly in 2008 to
fight Prop. 8. He says he
has dreams telling him to combat advancing gay rights. Even as
recently as this week, footage surfaced showing Engle demanding
that Ellen DeGeneres turn straight for the sake of all of America's gay
But that trip to Uganda is the most haunting step he's made into
dehumanizing homosexuals. The
Times described Engle giving a rousing speech to 1,300 Ugandans
Before arriving here last week, Mr. Engle came out with a
statement condemning the harsh penalties proposed in the bill, and said
that his ministry could not support it. But when he took the stage late
on Sunday afternoon, with Ugandan politicians and pastors looking on, he
praised the country's "courage" and "righteousness" in promoting the
"NGOs, the U.N., Unicef, they are all coming in here and promoting an
agenda," Mr. Engle said, referring to nongovernmental organizations.
"Today, America is losing its religious freedom. We are trying to
restrain an agenda that is sweeping through the education system. Uganda
has become ground zero."
Although Engle tried to mask his message by saying he didn't support the
law itself, his rhetoric was clear: Acceptance of LGBT communities
stops here. It looks like he's getting what he wanted. There is plenty
of blood smeared on plenty of hands in Kato's murder. But it's not a
stretch to say that as the killer hammered away at Kato's skull, some
blood spatter reached Engle.