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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 5, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 45
Stop outing Gays, Uganda court tells tabloid
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Stop outing Gays, Uganda court tells tabloid

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A Ugandan court has ordered Rolling Stone newspaper to stop publishing the names and photos of Ugandans it says are Gay.

Uganda's Rolling Stone is a weekly tabloid, and is not related to the U.S. paper of the same name.

High court judge Vincent Musoke-Kibuuka said the paper's anti-Gay campaign was an 'invasion of the right to privacy'.

Giles Muhame, Rolling Stone's managing editor, said he was seeking advice from his attorneys on whether to challenge the injunction.

'We have already achieved our objective: to show the world that homosexuality is spreading like wildfire in Uganda,' he said.

According to the British Guardian newspaper, the Ugandan court acted the day after the second installment of Rolling Stone's projected series outing Gay Ugandans.

The newest issue bore the headline 'Men of Shame Part II,' and included pictures of 20 men identified by the paper as 'generals' of the Gay community.

Several people named in the first article reported being assaulted or harassed. One woman had to flee her home when her neighbors pelted it with stones. Several others were said to be in hiding.

The first installment in the series was titled '100 Pictures of Uganda's Top Homosexuals Leak - Hang Them.'

The court ruled on a petition by the LGBT-rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda.

Frank Mugisha, chairman of the group, said his organization would seek damages from Rolling Stone if the judge ruled against the paper in the next hearing on 23 November.

'Justice has been served. This should be a reminder to the media not to incite violence against minority groups in this country,' Mugisha said.

Uganda's government has taken a very lax approach to regulating media attacks on the country's LGBT community.

Other tabloids, such as Red Pepper, have outed Gay people several times in recent years.

Rolling Stone, was launched in August by graduates of Kampala's Makerere University, a favorite venue of Christian preachers - both Ugandan and American - behind the anti-Gay crusade. It has an estimated circulation of 2,000 readers.

While Rolling Stone ran into trouble with the Uganda Media Council after the 'Hang Them' front page in early October, it was not due to the content, but because the publishers had failed to register with the government.

Paul Mukasa, Media Council Secretary, said that he was not aware of the court injunction, but confirmed to the Guardian that the paper had not been cleared to resume publication.

'We will take a look at this and see if action needs to be taken,' Mukasa said.

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