Ugandan Tabloid Outs ‘200 Top’ Homosexuals

A newspaper stand in Uganda, Feb. 25, 2014

A Ugandan tabloid has outed several alleged members of the LGBT community, releasing a list of the nation’s "200 top" homosexuals, the Associated Press reports.

The Red Pepper published names and some pictures in a front-page story titled "EXPOSED!" including already openly gay activists such as Pepe Julian Onziema, who has spoken out blatantly about the new anti-gay law, which could result in violence against the community. A popular Ugandan hip-hop star and a Catholic priest were also on the list, the AP notes.


The article comes a day after Ugandan President Yowery Museveni officially signed a harsh anti-gay bill into law, which punishes some "homosexual acts" with life in prison and also proposes prison terms for people who reach out to the community, which poses a threat to rights groups and other supporters.

"Now that this law has been enacted, we are beginning an internal review of our relationship with the Government of Uganda to ensure that all dimensions of our engagement, including assistance programs, uphold our anti-discrimination policies and principles and reflect our values," Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement, calling the signing of the bill "a tragic day for Uganda and all who care about the cause of human rights." He warned that Washington would sever aid to the Ugandan government.

Still, President Museveni has not backed down, even participating in an interview on CNN during which he called homosexuals "disgusting," insisting that sexual preference is a matter of choice.

"They're disgusting. What sort of people are they?" he told CNN in an exclusive interview. "I never knew what they were doing. I've been told recently that what they do is terrible. Disgusting. But I was ready to ignore that if there was proof that that's how he is born, abnormal. But now the proof is not there."


The president had commissioned Ugandan government scientists to conduct a study on whether homosexuality is "learned." They came to the conclusion that it was a choice.

"I was regarding it as an inborn problem," he said. "Genetic distortion—that was my argument. But now our scientists have knocked this one out."


Museveni blamed the West for Uganda’s problems with homosexuality, saying the West should not force its beliefs on them.

"Respect African societies and their values," he told CNN, arguing that Westerners brought the lifestyle to the country, corrupting Ugandan society. "If you don't agree, just keep quiet. Let us manage our society, then we will see. If we are wrong, we shall find out by ourselves, just the way we don't interfere with yours."


Few are openly gay in Uganda, due to violence against those who even appear to be friendly with the community. It is one of more than 30 African countries that outlaw homosexuality. Now, with the new law officially in place, many fear for their lives.

"The media witch hunt is back," tweeted Jacqueline Kasha, a Ugandan lesbian activist who was also listed in the Red Pepper.


"The enactment of the anti-homosexuality bill has only emboldened the … population in their rejection of anybody perceived to be gay or even friendly to gays," a Ugandan lawyer, Nicholas Opiyo, who runs a rights watchdog group, said, according to AP. "These things are going to continue. They are going to get more frequent."

Read more at the Associated Press and CNN.

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