Friday, 11 February 2011

David Kato: An Open Letter

We the undersigned condemn in the strongest possible terms the murder of Mr David Kato, the Ugandan gay rights campaigner. We wish to state emphatically that homosexuality is neither a sin nor a social or cultural construct. It is a biological given. Homosexuals are human beings like everybody else. Scientific research has been helpful in clearing the fog of ignorance entrenched by some religious texts in regards to homosexuality. Our opinions of homosexuality must change for the better, just as our opinion of slavery has changed, even though it was endorsed by those same religious texts. All violence against gays and people deemed to be gay in Africa must cease forthwith.
We call on the government of Uganda to find and prosecute all those involved in the murder of Mr Kato, including the newspaper that called for the hanging of gays. We also call on African governments to learn from the South African example by expunging from their laws all provisions that criminalise homosexuality or treat homosexuals as unworthy of the same rights and entitlements as other citizens. African states must protect the rights of their citizens to freedom and dignity. Homosexuals must not be denied these rights.

An open letter which has appeared in several newspapers around the world.
For a complete list of signatories - gratifyingly too long to post here - see comments.
A documentary about Uganda - The World's Worst Place To Be Gay? - will be shown by BBC3 on Monday February 14th.

1 comment:

  1. This letter was signed by

    Wale Adebanwi University of California, US

    Diran Adebayo Writer, UK

    Jide Adebayo-Begun Writer, Nigeria

    Kayode Adeduntan University of Ibadan, Nigeria

    Biola Adegboyega University of Calgary, Canada

    Shola Adenekan Editor, The New Black Magazine, UK

    Pius Adesanmi Carleton University, Canada

    Akin Adesokan Indiana University, US

    Chimamanda Adichie Writer, Nigeria

    Faith Adiele Writer, US

    Joe Agbro Journalist, Nigeria

    Anthony Akinola Oxford, UK

    Anengiyefa Alagoa Writer, UK

    Ellah Allfrey Deputy editor, Granta Magazine, UK

    Alnoor Amlani Writer, Kenya

    Ike Anya Public health doctor and writer, UK

    Bode Asiyanbi Writer, Lancaster University, UK

    Sefi Atta Writer, US

    Lizzy Attree University of East London, UK

    Damola Awoyokun Writer, UK

    Doreen Baingana Writer, Uganda

    Igoni Barrett Writer, Nigeria

    Tom Burke Bard College, US

    Brian Chikwava Writer, UK

    Jude Dibia Writer, Nigeria

    Chris Dunton National University of Lesotho, Lesotho

    Ropo Ewenla Artist, Nigeria

    Chielozona Eze Northeastern Illinois University, US

    Aminatta Forna Writer, UK

    Ivor Hartmann Writer, South Africa

    Chris Ihidero Writer, Lagos State University, Nigeria

    Ikhide R Ikheloa Writer, US

    Sean Jacobs New School, US

    Biodun Jeyifo Harvard University, US

    Brian Jones Professor emeritus, Zimbabwe

    Bassam Kassab Writer and movie producer, US

    Martin Kiman Writer, US

    Lauri Kubuitsile Writer, Botswana

    Zakes Mda Ohio University, US

    Colin Meier Writer, South Africa

    Gayatri Menon Franklin and Marshall College, US

    Valentina A Mmaka Writer, Italy/South Africa

    Jane Morris Publisher, Zimbabwe

    Joseph Sndanni Mwella Advocate of high court, Kenya

    Mbonisi P Ncube Writer, South Africa

    Iheoma Nwachukwu Writer, Nigeria

    Onyeka Nwelue Writer and filmmaker, India/Nigeria

    Fred Nwonwu Writer and Journalist, Nigeria

    Nnedi Okorafor Writer, Chicago State University, US

    Ebenezer Obadare University of Kansas, US

    Juliane Okot Bitek Writer, Canada

    Tejumola Olaniyan University of Wisconsin, US

    Ngozichi Omekara Trinidad and Tobago

    Akin Omotosho Actor and filmmaker, South Africa

    Kole Omotosho Africa Diaspora Research Group, South Africa

    Samuel Sabo Writer, UK

    Ramzi Salti Stanford University, US

    Namwali Serpell Writer, Harvard University, US

    Brett L Shadle Virginia Tech, US

    Drew Shaw Midlands State University, Zimbabwe

    Lola Shoneyin Writer, Nigeria

    Wole Soyinka Nobel laureate for literature

    Olufemi Taiwo Seattle University, US

    Ngugi wa Thiong'o University of California, US

    Kola Tubosun Writer, Fulbright Scholar, US

    Uzor Maxim Uzoatu Writer, Nigeria

    Abdourahman A Waberi Writer, US /Djibouti

    Binyavanga Wainaina Writer, Kenya

    Ronald Elly Wanda Writer& lecturer, Marcus Garvey Pan-Afrikan Institute, Uganda

    Kristy Warren University of Warwick, UK

    Cornel West Princeton University, US