Archbishop of Canterbury condemns murder of David Kato Kisulle

David Kato Kisule

David Kato Kisule

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who is currently in Dublin for the Primates' meeting, has expressed his shock and concern over the murder of the gay human rights activist David Kato Kisulle in Uganda:

"The brutal murder of David Kato Kisule, a gay human rights activist, is profoundly shocking. Our prayers and deep sympathy go out for his family and friends - and for all who live in fear for their lives. Whatever the precise circumstances of his death, which have yet to be determined, we know that David Kato Kisule lived under the threat of violence and death. No one should have to live in such fear because of the bigotry of others. Such violence has been consistently condemned by the Anglican Communion worldwide. This event also makes it all the more urgent for the British Government to secure the safety of LGBT asylum seekers in the UK. This is a moment to take very serious stock and to address those attitudes of mind which endanger the lives of men and women belonging to sexual minorities."

In a statement, the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) said it expressed "sadness, shock and anger" at the killing. They said: "In recent months he and other leaders in the LGBT community have been campaigning to overturn plans by the Ugandan Government that could see the death penalty implemented in certain situations for people who are known to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

"In March 2010 David Kato wrote in our magazine, All God’s Children, about the risks faced in Uganda by all sexual minorities, Christian or otherwise. In our communications with him he was very anxious to ensure that his article did not jeopardise the safety of people in Uganda. He spoke on the phone of the risks to his and others' lives.

"Recently the tabloid newspaper Rolling Stone (not connected to the American publication) published the names and photos of the 100 leading activists and leaders in the LGBT community, calling for their death. Without question this greatly increased the danger to David Kato and others. But David made clear he would not desert those who needed him most."

Rev Sharon Ferguson, Chief Executive of LGCM, said: “We are deeply saddened and appalled by this tragic and completely pointless death. David was a man of immense courage and an example to all LGBT people and others fighting for human rights and dignity across the globe.

“We recognise with much sadness and a sense of outrage the Christian dimension to much of the homophobia which exists in Uganda, some of which has been fueled in recent times by American evangelicals.

“That said, it is important to remember that David himself was a deeply committed Christian as are many of the LGBT people with whom he worked and for whom he gave his life. And in spite of the severe penalties for LGBT people in Uganda there are heterosexual Christians prepared to stand up for the rights and dignity of their LGBT sisters and brothers.”

Source: Archbishop of Canterbury/LGCM

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