KAMPALA (Reuters) - A Ugandan newspaper that published names and pictures of what it said were homosexuals in Uganda and called on authorities to hang them has been ordered to cease publishing, a gay rights leader said on Monday.
Frank Mugisha, chairman of the Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMU), said his group had petitioned the high court to order Rolling Stone to stop work because it was exposing innocent people to discrimination, ridicule, intimidation and possible violence.
“I feel enormous relief and happiness because we have received justice at long last. Rolling Stone won’t be on the streets anymore,” Mugisha said.
Uganda’s penal code outlaws homosexuality, which it broadly describes as having sex against the order of nature.
The paper’s managing editor, Giles Muhame, said he had yet to see the court’s order.
“I haven’t seen the court injunction but the war against gays will and must continue. We have to protect our children from this dirty homosexual affront,” he said.
The east African country was rebuked by the West and human rights activists last year when a ruling party legislator proposed an anti-gay law that would have had offenders put to death.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, who has denounced homosexuality as a Western vice, eventually caved in to the pressure and requested the legislator to hold off on the law.
In much of Africa’s conservative cultures, homosexuality is a taboo. Gays are often ridiculed and most of them conceal their lifestyle, scared that going public might invite hostility and denunciation from family and friends.