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Scuffle Breaks Out at David Kato’s Funeral

Jim Burroway

January 28th, 2011

A scuffle broke out midway through David Kato’s funeral today when the Anglican priest Thomas Musoke burst out with an anti-gay rant. The funeral drew about 300 people, including 100 LGBT friends and colleagues. No one was hurt in the fighting, but LGBT advocates report that they had recieved threats that that their cars would be stoned as they left the service.

Reuters desribed the scene this way:

The world has gone crazy,” the pastor told the congregation through a microphone. “People are turning away from the scriptures. They should turn back, they should abandon what they are doing. You cannot start admiring a fellow man.”

Gay activists, wearing T-shirts featuring Kato’s face with sleeves coloured with the gay pride flag, then stormed the pulpit and grabbed the microphone.

“It is ungodly,” the pastor shouted, before being blocked from sight.

After the scuffle was calmed, villagers refused to bury Kato’s coffin, so it was left to Kato’s friends, most of them gay, to carry him to his grave and bury him themselves.

Pepe Julian Onziema of Sexual Minorities Uganda was at the funeral, and was very upset at what she saw:

After we had read statements from everybody, including Obama, after all the nice things friends said about David, that this man could stand up and throw dirt at someone who should be resting in peace. It’s just disgusting.



January 28th, 2011 | LINK

This situation in Uganda is criminal and obscene. This takes my breath away.

Alex 0^0
January 28th, 2011 | LINK

Horrifying barbarians. We need to stop all aid to Uganda and boycott any business that works in Uganda. Some cultures just aren’t worth fighting to change.

January 28th, 2011 | LINK

It’s maddening!

Bruce Garner
January 28th, 2011 | LINK

To Richard Rash: I presume you have read the story in the Gospel where Jesus told a crowd that the one who is without sin could throw the first stone. No one threw anything and they dispersed. I hope you don’t claim to be a Christian because it seems that you have no concept of what being a follower of Jesus Christ is all about. I am a born from above practicing follower of Jesus Christ who attends and is active in church on a regular basis. I feel the presence of God in my life and the fire of the Holy Spirit burning within me. I am also one of “all those homosexuals out there.” You are not in a position nor do you have the authority to judge me. May I prayerfully suggest that you look inward and then spend some time on the teachings of Jesus Christ? I can guarantee you that I could find a dozen or more things you do in your life that are condemned by Scripture. Jesus redeemed us from the chains of the law. He taught us much and there is more to learn from Him.

Regan DuCasse
January 28th, 2011 | LINK

Not even in violent death, can a gay person be given the dignity and respect they deserve at their funerals.
David K in his way, showed the greater love, and greater courage by putting his life on the line for the freedom and human rights of his friends.

To the troll, Richard Rash: I see no such conduct among the anti gay, whose own behavior doesn’t commit to the BETTERMENT of anyone by showing hostility, threat and lack of compassion to gay people.
No one and no thing is good that abuses another human being. Period.
There is no rational justification for doing so against gay people. None.

Coming into a website and throwing the typical bomb of disdain at gay people only shows the depth of cowardice that continues to be representative of anti gay people.

Paul J. Stein
January 28th, 2011 | LINK

Well if you really want to put a hurting on Uganda STOP drinking coffee, Robusta,Arabica, put your money where your mouth is, literally!

Jim Burroway
January 28th, 2011 | LINK

Actually, the U.S. and Canada imports almost no coffee from Uganda — very little anyway. Uganda’s coffee trade is mostly in lower quality coffees which make there way to Central and Eastern Europe. There are efforts to increase the quality of Ugandas coffee growers, but there are significant transportation and financial impediments.

If I thought a boycott of coffee would have had an impact, I would have jumped on that bandwagon a long time ago.

January 28th, 2011 | LINK

Horrible. As if Kato’s murder wasn’t terrible enough, a pastor had to make homophobic comments at his funeral. Even in death, he’s subjected to homophobia.

I hope that Kato’s killer will be brought to justice soon, and that this tragedy serves as a wake-up call to the dangers of anti-gay bigotry.

January 28th, 2011 | LINK

Looks like Uganda has its own version of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church.

When are we as a species going to get beyond the ignorance promulgated by religion and grow up?

Timothy Kincaid
January 28th, 2011 | LINK

There’s something about the temptation to preach to a captive audience that can lead some preachers to lose all sense of compassion.

In 1995 I had a close friend die of AIDS. The pastor of the church he grew up in conducted a memorial and asked the family if my friend had made his peace with God. When they answered in the affirmative (my friend had never left his faith), the pastor took it to mean that he had ‘rejected the homosexual lifestyle’ and repented of it on his deathbed, which he then announced at my friend’s funeral along with some ‘if only he’d repented sooner’ remonstrations.

Some friends stood up and stormed out. His parents were devastated and never went back.

Rob San Diego
January 28th, 2011 | LINK

Glorious are the Ori, who lead us to salvation, who did fight the evil that would doom us all to mortal sin. Did they defeat the old spirits and cast them out? And now, with the strength of our will, they do call upon us to prevail against the corruption of all unbelievers.

The book of Origin tell us that enemies of the Ori will show no mercy in their attempt to lead us astray from the true path, likewise we must attack with all the Strength which we have been given

Hallowed be the Ori!- Stargate SG1.

January 28th, 2011 | LINK

A more detailed description of the event and who was there is in this article at the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, by the Rev Canon Albert Ogle, who works with liberal Anglicans in Uganda and elsewhere to fight the hate.

The Ugandan church did not send a priest. It was a lay reader, not a man in orders, who spouted the homophobia. (NOt that it would have made a difference, the church in Uganda being vitriolic itself). It was an excommunicated bishop who works for reconciliation, who helped bury David Kato.

The problem with boycotts is that they hurt the people we need to support. We need there to be voices, loud voices in Uganda to counter the lying Scott Lively and his crew. People who speak with the authority of religion and can speak about the authority of love.

There are lots of faith groups who actively support LGBT people in this country and overseas. This is not a battle against the religious and the mockery doesn’t help. It’s a battle against one narrow slice of belief that has perverted the message, and that would deny freedom of religion to all others.

January 28th, 2011 | LINK

This is terrible–I am weeping to hear that the villagers refused to bury him properly. Where is his mother? I wish I could have been there myself to help carry him and give him the respectful burial he deserves. Rest in peace, David Kato, and thank you for your courage.

January 28th, 2011 | LINK

What a horrible, horrible excuse for a human being that pastor is. And what brave, inspiring people Kato’s friends are. This reminds me of just how varied humans can be. It’s awful that they had to have this funeral at all.

January 29th, 2011 | LINK

@Bruce Garner
Hate to tell you this, Bruce, but the beautiful story you mentioned does note exist in the earliest biblical documents. It is a forgery, adder much later.

Tom in Lazybrook
January 29th, 2011 | LINK

This Anglican Priest should be censured publically by CANA (The Nigerian/Ugandan influenced anti-Gay Anglican group in America).

If Prominent CANAns (or Orthodox Anglicans in America) felt so strongly about a Gay priest being the head of NH Episcopalians that they would leave, then why the silence of them in this case?

September 28th, 2014 | LINK

Iam one of somali gays and ididnt have any righs here in africa somalia or kenya and iwas facing very difficult circumstances both somalia and kenya such as rape and discrimination of gay and i have no anyone to help and idont have some where to stay am unable sexual orientation i suffer in eastliegh nairobi all forms abuse and i cannot complain to any outhority considering the homophobia please help iam insecurity here please save me life kindy help me on humantrian ground thanks email

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