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Ugandan Tabloid Resumes Anti-Gay Vigilante Campaign

Jim Burroway

November 1st, 2010
November 1, 2010 edition of the Ugandan tabloid

November 1, 2010 edition of the Ugandan tabloid "Rolling Stone." (Click to enlarge. Photo obscured by BTB.)

After nearly a month’s hiatus due to its failure to register with government authorities, the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone (no relation to the venerable U.S. magazine by the same name) has resumed its promised anti-gay outing campaign against private LGBT citizens.

In the latest edition, Rolling Stone has apparently gone online to reproduce photos and other information from profiles of LGBT Ugandans posted on dating web sites. On the page two article titled, “More Homos’ Faces Exposed,” the so-called “investigative team” displayed a complete ignorance of default settings on profile pages, the clueless reporter writes, “The homosexuals say they intend to make love to interested men at least below the age if 99. This implies that even 90-year-old pensioners are welcome for sex.”

Page 2 of the November 1, 2010 edition of the Ugandan tabloid "Rolling Stone." (Click to enlarge. Names and photo obscured by BTB.)

As amusing as this confusion may be, the real damage for LGBT Ugandans comes from the photos published on a two-and-a-half page spread following the main article. Unlike the previous edition however, there are relatively few names, addresses or places of employment published in this edition.

The so-called “investigative team” also has discovered the discredited American “researcher” Paul Cameron. Writing in their page-two article, the author writes:

According to Dr. Paul Cameron of a Colorado-based medical research institute, homosexuality is more dangerous than smoking as it reduces one’s lifespan by 24 years.”

Cameron has been censured numerous times for professional misconduct, most recently in 2007 by the Eastern Psychological Association when he falsely claimed to have presented a paper before the association’s annual convention. His so-called “Family Research Institute,” which he runs with family members out of his kitchen table, is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as one of only about a dozen anti-gay hate groups in the U.S.

The paper claims that gays in Uganda have a target “to recruit at least 1 million kids by 2012 — is your kid safe?” The paper also denies that they are seeking mob justice:

In fact we are sternly warning public not to attack homosexuals, though there is no such case on record, but to report them to police for action.

Editorial and photos from Page 4 of the November 1 edition of

Editorial and photos from Page 4 of the November 1 edition of "Rolling Stone." (Click to enlarge. Names and photos obscured by BTB.)

On a page four editorial, managing editor Giles Muhame takes great pride in the dangerous controversy he’s created. He denies that publishing the names, addresses, and photographs of private citizens is an invasion of privacy. Referring of the numerous interviews he gave to foreign news services, Muhame writes:

I explained that the story was in “public interest” since a cross section of homosexuals is seriously recruiting and brainwashing unsuspecting kids into gay circles. “For example if security learnt that one os assembling a bomb at his residence, would they fear to raid the place fearing ‘invasion or privacy?’” I asked a journalist who had come for an interview. In such extreme cases, especially where life is endangered, journalists are bound to forego “privacy” for the good of society.”

Muhame also denies that anyone was harmed as a result of last month’s outing campaign:

On inciting violence, the International Press Institute (IPI) was told lies that some homosexuals and lesbians had been attacked after the story. Amisingly, neither of them had photographs of their houses being pelted with stones or medical reports showing bodily injuries sustained from the attacks.

In fact, there are numerous reports of gays being attacked as a direct result of Rolling Stone’s earlier vigilante installment. This morning, LGBT advocates in Uganda have launched an official complaint against Rolling Stone before High Court in Kampala.

Pages 3 and 5 of the November 1 edition of

Pages 3 and 5 of the November 1 edition of "Rolling Stone." (Click to enlarge. Names and photos obscured by BTB.)

At only twelve pages, this edition of Rolling Stone is about half the size of previous editions. And the almost complete lack of advertising (there are only two ads) continues to raise questions about who is providing financial backing for the paper. In fact, in the page 4 editorial Muhame taunts, “I wish you knew who is behind us!! You would stop barking.” One clue over who is behind the vigilante campaign can be found in some of the rhetoric published in this edition. For example, in the page-two article, we find:

Homosexuality involves “fisting” where one puts a hand in the rectum and may end up destroying it, causing fatal injuries, inflammation and transmission of HIV. No wonder homosexuals usually seal the butts with tiny pillows — to save the shattered buttocks from pain if they were to sit on a wooden chair.

This passage contains striking parallels to the rhetoric of Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa, who was famously derided the world over for his “eat da poo-poo” appearance on the Current TV documentary “Missionaries of Hate.” The article also names an unnamed source saying that the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill,, which provides for the death penalty for homosexuality under certain circumstances, will be passed once Uganda becomes “an oil producer.” This, too, echoes the argument that Ssempa put forward on Uganda’s state broadcaster UBC last December.

Page 10 of the November 1, 2010 edition of "Rolling Stone." (Click to enlarge.)

But the largest clue — large enough to be a virtual smoking gun — is Ssempa’s photo splashed on an article on page 10, titled “Lesbians destroyed my life at age of 16 — Sandra.” The story consists of an interview by Ssempa with a so-called “ex-gay” by the name of Sandra Baggotte, who has been featured on Ssempa’s prior anti-gay rallies and media campaigns earlier this year. The interview also mentions Paul Kagaba, another so-called “ex-gay” associate of Ssempa’s who was behind a vigilante campaign waged by the rival Red Pepper tabloid last December.

Several clues from the October 2 edition of Rolling Stone also point to Ssempa’s active participation in this anti-gay media campaign as well.

[Update: Warren Throckmorton has learned from two independent sources that both both Giles Muhame and advertising manager Cliff Abenaitwe both attend Ssempa’s Makerere Community Church. Together with the other evidence before us, it is impossible to see this as anything other than a Ssempa-driven and directed campaign.]

There are additional reports that a similar outing campaign is currently taking place in at least one other tabloid Onion (also unrelated to the U.S. satirical paper by the same name). We also hear that Red Pepper may also have launched a campaign as well. We’ll post more information on those developments as we receive them.

Last week, Ugandan M.P. David Bahati, the sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, has promised that the bill would become law before Parliament disbands before the 2011 elections. Several otherwise reputable news outlets have falsely reported that the anti-gay bill had been “withdrawn.” But as we’ve been consistently reporting, the bill has instead been sitting quietly in committee where it could be brought before the floor of Parliament at any time. Two weeks ago, Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo, another ardent supporter of the bill, promised that the bill would be passed “in due course.” Increasingly, it appears that this renewed media campaign is very likely intended to increase public pressure for the bill’s passage.

Comments

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Putt
November 1st, 2010 | LINK

Ugandans’ participation and support of this wicked and vigilante campaign against homosexuals only make them out to be an inhumane and uncivilized nation of people who are not socially or mentally developed to be apart of any organization of foreign states. Do those evil Ugandans think by hanging, burning, or imprisoning homosexuals is going to end homosexuality. The only way to end homosexuality is to stop having children, because as long as persons are procreating, a gay child will be included in the number of births. Their ignorance is so overwhelming that they think Christianity is indigenous to them. I am a Christian, but I will have them know the religion they are basing their evil campaign on was imported. Furthermore, Jesus’ teachings do not support their wickedness. May God have mercy on them. I am sick to my stomach.

BlackDog
November 1st, 2010 | LINK

Just out of curiousity, where did anyone get the idea that Uganda has oil?

Or is that just one more of the things the “God will bless us if we get rid of all the gays” morons put out there?

More to the point, has it occured to any of these people that it’s entirely possible none of the people “outed” are actually gay? Seriously…that level of hatred is a wonderful weapon against political opponents, annoying neighbors, that girl that spurned the anti-gay dude last week, or that guy who cut you off in traffic. Want to ruin someone in Uganda? Accuse them of being gay.

Seriously, these people need to get a grip on reality, because when (not if) this thing blows up I’d bet that only a few of the many people who will die will actually be gay.

werdna
November 1st, 2010 | LINK

@BlackDog

As the headline of this article points out, the existence of Uganda’s massive (but largely undeveloped) oil reserves are not well known outside of east Africa. Hard numbers are hard to come by, but some estimates suggest that the Lake Albert region may hold as many as 2 billion barrels of oil. Not surprisingly, conflicts with the adjacent Democratic Republic of Congo and the lack of an established domestic oil industry (not to mention the fecklessness and corruption endemic to the Ugandan state) have slowed development.

More here, here, and here.

paul canning
November 1st, 2010 | LINK

Americans urged to call on State Dept to offer visas to ‘outed’ LGBT http://madikazemi.blogspot.com/2010/11/us-urged-to-offer-visas-to-outed.html

Timothy Kincaid
November 1st, 2010 | LINK

Warren Throckmorton is reporting:

Two credible sources in Uganda have told me that both Giles Muhame and Cliff Abenaitwe attend Ssempa’s Makerere Community Church.

Mihangel apYrs
November 1st, 2010 | LINK

Jim
on a point of pedantry:

CENSURED not CONSORED

on a point of humanity: must fight urge to demand all aid cut off, as that will hurt the truly needy. Must hope that not too much sticks to sticky fingered politicos….

EZam
November 1st, 2010 | LINK

@Mihangel

Unfortunately that’s the only way we could make Uganda think twice before enacting such bill. If they do anyway, people will starve and an uprising against the government will occur.

BlackDog
November 1st, 2010 | LINK

@ Werdna: I did not know that, Interesting.

“on a point of humanity: must fight urge to demand all aid cut off, as that will hurt the truly needy. Must hope that not too much sticks to sticky fingered politicos….”

Bullsh!t. Demand aid be cut off, the only way to get the REAL leaders in the government (Basically, the Musavenis) to clamp down on people like Martin Ssempa is to hit them in the wallet. When there’s less money to steal I bet there will be newspaper articles outing Ssempa as being gay
(Which I halfway wonder if he is, given his creepy obsession with Teh Gay.) And then all the sudden religious radicalism will go out of fashion at least until there’s more money coming in. The threat of individual countries cutting off aid seems to my eyes to have been a major part of why this thing has not already been enacted.

keno
November 2nd, 2010 | LINK

Ridiculous, absolutely rridiculous. I find no truth in this whole BTB made up piece. Nothing new, ever old stuff recycled. Ssempa, Ssempa and Ssempa. Absolute nonsense. I get the understanding now; it is to nail everything against homosexuality on either Ssempa or Nsava Buturo. Can’t there be any piece without popularising Ssempa? I also discover it’s hatred and only hatred purely promoted here. Where is the love the gays and their supports always shout about?????? Nonsense.

BlackDog
November 2nd, 2010 | LINK

Keno, The editors here cite sources quite frequently for everything they post regarding the Uganda situation and I have yet to see any amount of dislike or hatred for ANYTHING here that comes even close to Martin Ssempa’s creepy obsession with homosexuality.

His obsession with the subject is indefensible both from a moral and theological standpoint, why, to listen to Martin one would think the Bible spoke of nothing else.

Where in Martin Ssempa’s teachings is there any thought given to “judge not that you not be judged” or to loving thy neighbor or taking care of the downtrodden and the poor?

Look at all the great humanitarians and leaders from Africa and elsewhere, who are black men. You have Desmond Tutu, and Nelson Mandela who came from Africa, Bob Marley from Jamaica, Martin Luther King and W.E.B. Du Bois who came from America…some of these men were Christian theologians, Bob Marley was an outspoken Rasta, and you know what?? There’s a common thread through all of them. They cared for other people!! They helped the oppressed and the poor.

The only person Martin Ssempa helps is himself, as far as I know, and he shows no love for anyone, only hate with a dash of showmanship.

Ssempa and those like him will destroy Uganda and continue with every rant against gay people or “westerners” to make fools out of Africans, and since I know several very intelligent African people I think that is a very sad thing. Martin Ssempa in particular, I believe also takes God’s name in vain every time he speaks it, and I feel that someday there will be a reckoning for him, because some day he will meet God and God will not be pleased.

I am a straight man, and while I choose not to call myself a Christian I do hold Christian beliefs. Jesus said nothing about homosexuality, he said treat others as you would want them to treat you.

The things going on in Uganda are disgusting, and I am afraid that many people will die there, odds are most of them will not be gay.

Do you have any enemies, Keno? Is there anyone who might profit from accusing you of being gay? Think about that for a second, because once an inquisition starts they don’t stop. If this bill in Uganda passes it will be a free-for-all of wild accusations and murder. Anyone who can read a history book should be able to see that.

I don’t think anyone here hates Martin Ssempa, I for one feel sorry for him and wonder why he cannot get over his obsession, I hate his actions, but not him as a person. I think he should be ashamed of himself and so should anyone else who follows a man that claims to believe in God yet preaches nothing but hate.

Priya Lynn
November 2nd, 2010 | LINK

Blackdog said “The threat of individual countries cutting off aid seems to my eyes to have been a major part of why this thing has not already been enacted.”.

I think you’re right.

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