More on extreme state-sponsored campaign of terror against gays and lesbians in Uganda extensively covered on Rod 2.0: Several of the very few openly gay Ugandans are talking to Western media and describing life under the harsh anti-gay regime. In a video interview with the BBC, Julian Pepe, a lesbian activist with Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), describes terror, random arrests by police and physical attacks from passers-by:
"I'm a very social person but for the past two or three years...I've been a media figure. I used to go to the city often...but now I get harassed on the street. This year I have been picked up by the police several times. One time I was detained for two hours, another time for about three hours. Each time they held me I was traumatized. It might be slight but it stays with me. Right now if a policeman came around, I would get goosebumps. Stones have been thrown at my house before."
David Kato is another openly gay activist who lives in Kampala. Kato fears for his life if the proposed extreme Anti Homosexuality Bill is passed. Kato tells Reuters: "I have been arrested by police a number of times, often on flimsy charges just because of my homosexual lifestyle. The prospect of living under this law is scary. Certainly all my life and plans will be ruined because once it's passed I will immediately have to flee the country. Obviously if I don't I will be arrested and imprisoned."
The proposed Anti Homosexuality Bill would execute gays for the offense of "aggravated homosexuality". It is currently with Parliament's Committee on Legal and Parliamentary affairs. Members are scheduled to begin public hearings on it when members return from their Christmas break. It is expected to pass with some revisions.
You cannot help but admire Julian Pepe and David Kato. They could literally be killed at any moment by the police or their neighbors, but are doing whatever they can for some shred of equality. What an inspiration.