Monday, 3 January 2011

Uganda, Homophobia and a Privacy Victory

One of the great fronts in the battle for gay rights is Africa. It's therefore cheering to see this report in the Guardian today on a positive legal outcome in Uganda. The case concerned the printing of addresses and photographs of some of the 100 people it named as "Uganda's top homos" in a small circulation newspaper started by journalism graduates from Makerere University in Kampala The court found that the report violated their constitutional rights to privacy and safety and awarded the three plaintiffs in whose names the case was launched just over £400 each in damages. Although the newspaper goes by the name 'Rolling Stone', the US magazine was quick to distance itself from the Ugandan publication, branding the paper 'an imposter'.

Good news and a positive outcome but let's not get carried away. That this was started by a university newspaper should surely be a source of concern? A new generation of education Ugandans will be beginning their working lives in politics, law, and other state roles with a clear background in homophobia. A battle has been won, but the war has barely begun.

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