Three days after signing a statement agreeing to allow gay-friendly groups to meet in Uganda, the country’s ethics minister reverted to his previous hand-line stance.
In an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo vowed to continue disrupting LGBT rights meetings, the South African Press Agency reported.
“We will continue a crackdown on these gays by all means,” Lokodo said. “We cannot allow them to use meetings as platforms to promote their activities.”
Under current Ugandan law, homosexual activity can be punished by life imprisonment.
On Monday, June 25, Lokodo will face a trial in Kampala’s High Court in a lawsuit filed by LGBT activists who charge him with violating their constitutional right of free assembly when he disrupted an LGBT rights workshop in February.
In recent days, Lokodo has also:
- arranged for police to break up an LGBT rights workshop June 18,
- announced that 38 gay-friendly organizations will be banned, and
- threatened legal action against a proposed interfaith Compass to Compassion conference at which religious and political leaders would discuss the effects of the country’s laws against homosexuality.
“We are not free at all. We walk in fear.” gay activist Dennis Wamala told DPA.
In a statement on June 22 that Lokodo was reportedly required to sign, he said the country does not discriminate against people “of a different sexual orientation.”
“No government official is (supposed) to harass any section of the community and everybody in Uganda enjoys the freedom to lawfully assemble and associate freely with others,” the statement said.
- Uganda to ban 38 groups that promote gay rights (76crimes.com)
- Uganda official threatens planned interfaith conference (76crimes.com)
- Simon Lokodo heads a quasi-Gestapo unit in Uganda (sebaspace.wordpress.com)
- Africa, Africa: Uganda Official Backs Away From Effort To Dissolve LGBT Groups (thinkprogress.org)
- One Battle Down: Uganda’s Gays Now Free To Meet (purplegloves.wordpress.com)
- Uganda says gays now free to meet (miamiherald.com)