Ugandan Anti-Gay Tabloid Shut Down By Court

A high court in Uganda ruled that a paper labeling people gay and calling for their deaths must temporarily stop publication

KAMPALA, Uganda—A judge on Monday ordered a Ugandan tabloid to temporarily cease publication after an LGBT advocacy group filed a lawsuit against the paper for identifying citizens it claimed are gay and calling for their hanging.

The ruling came a day after Rolling Stone (of no relation to the U.S. music magazine) pushed for readers to report to police the Ugandans on whose sexual orientation the paper speculated. Anti-gay sentiment remains prevalent in Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal and a draconian law has been proposed that would punish LGBT citizens by death.

In October, the same tabloid published the names, addresses and photos of 100 people it labeled Uganda’s “top homosexuals,” peppered with a front-page corner banner that exhorted, “hang them!”

Frank Mugisha, chairman of the Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMU), said his group had filed an invasion of privacy suit against Rolling Stone because its virulently anti-gay stories exposed LGBT Ugandans to discrimination and violence. At least four known attacks have been reported by the country’s LGBT groups in connection with the tabloid pieces.

In the temporary injunction issued on Monday, Justice Musoke Kibuuka ordered Rolling Stone from further publication of identifying information of anyone perceived to be gay.

“I feel enormous relief and happiness because we have received justice at long last. Rolling Stone won’t be on the streets anymore,” Mugisha said.

Giles Muhame, Rolling Stone’s managing editor, said the paper will abide by the court order at least until the next hearing in the case on Nov. 23, but that the tabloid will continue to vocally condemn LGBT people “without publishing pictures.”


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