Uganda Court Orders Tabloid To Halt Outing Campaign

Jim Burroway

November 1st, 2010

The AFP is reporting that the a Uganda High Court judge has ordered the tabloid Rolling Stone (no relation to the U.S. publication by the same name) to immediately cease its outing campaign against that country’s LGBT citizens:

High Court judge Vincent Musoke-Kibuuka granted “an interim order restraining (Rolling Stone or any affiliated publication) from any further publication of the identity of any person perceived by them to be gay, lesbian or homosexual.”

Musoke-Kibuuka called the editorial material “an infringement or invasion of the right to privacy” of the individuals identified.

The order was sought by Sexual Minorities Uganda on behalf of LGBT people who were attacked following the paper’s first outing campaign nearly a month ago. Managing editor Giles Muhame reacted to the order on his facebook page:

I have heard on grapevine that Kampala high court today afternoon issued an injunction barring the mighty Rolling Stone from publishing information that could lead to the identification of homosexuals…..the newspaper has already achieved its objective….By the way this means we can write about homosexuality but not identify them….ok, understood…we are law abiding citizens….

It’s worth watching closely to see what he means when he says “we can write about homosexuality but not identify them.” Muhame told AFP:

“We will publish more pictures but in a diplomatic way, so that we can dodge the law,” he said. “We might not name them as homos, but the public will know what they are.”

Mohame resumed publication of Rolling Stone this morning despite not having received the proper license to do so from the Uganda Media Council. The tabloid was ordered to halt publication for failure to register with the authorities. It’s very likely that Rolling Stone will react with similar disregard for the law with this order.

A further hearing is scheduled for November 23. There were no lawyers present to represent Muhame or Rolling Stone at today’s hearing.

The anonymous blogger GayUganda celebrates the “small sweet victory” as a “milestone in gay rights in Uganda.”

Update: The text of the court’s order is provided below, and appears very comprehensive:

Before His Lordship Justice V.F  Musoke Kibuka in the presence of  Ms. Sengendo Rose, Counsel for the applicant at the high court of Uganda.

The Court issued an interim order restraining the respondents, their servants and agents, from any further publication in the publication called ROLLING STONE or any  other publications  by the respondents , their agents or servants, the identities by name or pictures or any relevant implication of the person or person perceived by the respondents to be gay, lesbian or homosexual in general.

The Interim Order is to remain in place till the hearing and disposal of Misc Cause No. 163 of 2010.

The hearing is scheduled for Nov. 23.

David in Houston

November 1st, 2010

It’s just like the Salem witch trials. If you want to have someone be put to death, just accuse them of being a homosexual. — If I were a gay person living in Uganda, I would do whatever it takes to get out of that country. People will commit the most barbaric atrocities if they think they have God’s blessing.

Regan DuCasse

November 3rd, 2010

For realz, David.

This paper doesn’t have anything ELSE to report on?!
I mean the front page blasts are preoccupied with ‘the homosexual problem’. If compared to other media in foreign countries, there is a denial gay people exist, or aren’t considered a source to be tapped regarding news.

We can see that even in this country, discussing gay lives runs hot (hyperbolic fearmongering regarding democracy and free speech) or cold (the palpable discomfort with the issue at all and a wish it would go away).

Among ourselves, there’s more truth telling and reliability, but you’d think in the main, that they’d tap gay people as a source of THAT, rather than giving access to the nutty fringe as if their testimony has as much validity.

I am so grateful to the brave souls who defy the media blackouts or wildfire setting against gay people.
I really, REALLY hate people keeping information from me.
I don’t like being lied to, and I don’t like being told I have no need to know.
And I especially hate being treated as if I couldn’t handle the truth.
That’s for ME to decide.

Thanks BTB for being one of the few keeping this very important issue and ongoing situation in Uganda out where we can know about it.


November 3rd, 2010

Even in backwards places like Uganda the courts can still be counted on for protection. God bless them.


November 7th, 2010

“This paper doesn’t have anything ELSE to report on?!”

I’ve gathered that Uganda is quite a religious country, the sort where if you’ve got a Bible, a tin-roof shack and a white shirt you can start a church. More to the point, it seems like Africa is getting enough attention from American missionaries that American Christianity (TM) is taking root there. As we’ve already seen they’ve got the Homophobic Preacher (Martin Ssempa) but I don’t know if they’ve exported the Church Gossip successfully yet.

This paper is like a church gossip (Especially a Pentecostal church gossip) they might occasionally have something else to talk about but usually their main concern is who’s screwing who.

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