The Archbishop of Uganda’s Anglican Church recently expressed his great fear that homosexuals are out to kill him. Henry Luke Orombi was quoted as lamenting “nowadays, I don’t wear my collar when I am in countries which have supporters of homosexuals.” He explained that he is forced to “dress like a civilian because those people are dangerous … some of them are killers. They want to close the mouth of anybody who is against them.”
I think that Mr. Orombi needs a reality check to see whose mouths are actually being shut. Whose faces are battered and whose lives shattered. Orombi simply has to look within his own country.
On June 4, 2008, Amnesty International released a public statement expressing concern over the continued harassment and attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights defenders in Uganda and calling on its government to end harassment of LGBT women and men by police. The statement also recounted the latest abuse of transgender individuals.
… the two were dancing at Capital Pub in Kampala, Uganda, when they were detained by club bouncers, harassed and beaten while being asked whether they were men or women, and “accused” of being homosexuals. The club management of Capital Pub called the police, who detained both individuals for four days at Kabalagala Police station. During their detention, both were repeatedly beaten by police officers, and one was kissed, fondled and forcefully propositioned for sex by other detainees, and stripped and had their genitals groped by a police officer. One of the two was denied medical treatment for diabetes, and allowed only one meal a day. After their release on bond, both individuals were charged with public nuisance, and are currently awaiting trial.
Since their release, both individuals have faced harassment and violent attacks from individuals in their neighbourhood who were informed by police of their gender identity. These started with threats and escalated to a serious violent attack on the night of 3 June in Old Kampala, where a group of youths attacked both individuals. One of the attackers has since been arrested by police.
Another case is that of Olivia Nabulwala, a Ugandan lesbian seeking asylum in the United States. She reports that her family was so angry and ashamed they hurled insults at her, pummeled her, stripped her then held her down while a stranger raped her. In a sworn statement she says:
I hated myself from that day … I disliked my family for subjecting me to such torture, and yet they felt this was a good punishment for me.
Orombi should shut his mouth and listen to the suffering of his own people, to the suffering of his sisters and brothers in Christ, to the suffering caused by his mouth.