Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Was Obama an accomplice in David Kato's murder?

David Kato, LGBT activist, Advocacy Officer for
Sexual Minorities Uganda, slain by an assailant, who
broke into his home and hit him over the head
with a hammer until he was dead on 01.26.2011.

Would Ugandan LGBT advocate David Kato be alive if Barack Obama, the most powerful man in the world, had not asked Reverend Rick Warren to say the opening prayers, or invocation, at his inauguration on January 20, 2009, then attempted to justify the invitation with reference to Reverend Rick Warren's humanitarian work in Africa?

Warren had been a longstanding ally of Uganda's infamously homophobic Pastor Martin Ssempa, although outrage over Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act, a.k.a. "Hang-the-Gays Bill," has since compelled him to take his distance.

In Uganda, Warren had, in March 2008, encouraged a schism in the Anglican Communion over gay Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson, and said "we shall not tolerate this aspect [homosexuality], not at all."

Warren had also, during his campaign for Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban, equated homosexuality with incest, pedophilia and bestiality, in this interview on Beliefnet:

In 2008, after the outrage consequent to his invitation to Warren, Obama justified his invitation to Rick Warren as an instance of inclusion, including Reverend Rick Warren's voice as one of many in his inauguration:

Here is the White House statement of sorrow and affirmation of LGBT rights as fundamental human rights, in response to David Kato's murder in Uganda:

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the President on the Killing of David Kato

I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder of David Kato.  In Uganda, David showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate.  He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom.  The United States mourns his murder, and we recommit ourselves to David’s work.
At home and around the world, LGBT persons continue to be subjected to unconscionable bullying, discrimination, and hate.  In the weeks preceding David Kato’s murder in Uganda, five members of the LGBT community in Honduras were also murdered.  It is essential that the Governments of Uganda and Honduras investigate these killings and hold the perpetrators accountable.
LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights.  My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad.  We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness, and equality for all.

Of course we have to be glad that President Obama was moved, and/or obliged to make such a statement, but many questions remain unanswered, regarding Obama, Reverend Rick Warren, and the East African Presidents, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, and Burundian President Pierre Nkrunziza, all three of whom have promoted the criminalization of homosexuality, and provided troops in service to the American military agenda in Africa.

Unlike other forms of violence in Africa, David Kato's murder, and Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act, makes 10-20% of the world, regardless of racial and national identities, feel targeted. 

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