David Kato was bludgeoned to death with a hammer.
This is something most people, if they follow the news at all, have heard by now.
Kato lived in Uganda, a country that is considering a bill many are calling the "Kill the Gays Bill."
Kato was the most visible gay rights advocate in his country.
He was on the front page of a Ugandan newspaper that urged the hanging of gays.
Why all this hate?
Traditionally, LGBT Ugandans have not been ostracized as they are now. What has changed?
Americans. Evangelical, right-wing Americans visited the country and began hosting anti-gay conferences. These evangelicals had ties to that obscure American group "The Family." Haven't heard of them? I hadn't either. Do a google search. It's interesting stuff. I first discovered the existence of this group through The Rachel Maddow Show (see below).
These Americans asserted that gays were assaulting traditional marriage.
This is the same argument we have been hearing for years. What exactly, though, are these evangelicals trying to protect? Are gays really seen as shadowy pitchfork wielders chasing a wholesome six year old girl in a white dress through mud and swamp and all things dirty? RIDICULOUS.
First of all, marriage ain't no virgin. Heterosexuals have done a fantastic job with this mess. Marriage today is bedraggled: divorces and cheating have already mucked up that white dress.
Second of all, gays are not assaulting marriage. They just want to take part in it. They want to make it stronger, adding their families to the list of those making our country better. For me, "making our country better" doesn't just involve two-parent typical households with 2.35whatever children. It includes single mothers and fathers and nontraditional households and, yes, it includes "the gays."
They want rights and they want marriage. I would think these evangelicals would be thrilled to have more families (of all kinds) to resist the pull of promiscuity and cheating and general immorality, however that may be defined.
David Kato was a gay man who came out of the shadows even though his life was in danger because of it. It's important that we bring this whole issue out of obscurity, so that the general public sees LGBTQ individuals not as statistics or threats, but as people.
Rachel Maddow, my very favoritest bestest greatest spectacularest amazingest (really, her show is a journalistic masterpiece) news talkshow host, had some very powerful comments on her MSNBC show concerning the death and funeral of David Kato.
For more insights from Rachel Maddow, also check out her blog.
For more information on David Kato, this is a great, up to date article on actions being taken following his murder and the arrest of his alleged murderer.