Homophobia unlikely in gay activist murder: police

Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:45am GMT

By Barry Malone

KAMPALA (Reuters) - A Ugandan gay rights activist murdered after his photo was printed on the cover of a newspaper that called for gays to be executed was likely killed during a robbery, police said on Thursday.

David Kato was one of three people featured in Uganda's Rolling Stone newspaper in October who won an injunction this month barring it from continuing its anti-gay campaign that had pictured gays under the headline: "Hang Them."

Kato said he had received death threats since Rolling Stone's publication.

U.S. President Barack Obama expressed sadness over Kato's murder and called on the government of Uganda to investigate.

"David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate. He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom," Obama said in a statement, adding that rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people were human rights.

"My administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad."

The U.S. State Department's top diplomat for Africa, Johnnie Carson, also expressed shock at Kato's murder, which followed strong U.S. pressure on Uganda's leadership to tone down anti-gay political rhetoric.

The murder sparked worldwide condemnation and fast became one of the top 10 topics on the social media website Twitter.   Continued...

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