Uganda judge extends media ban on outing gays

A Ugandan high court judge on Tuesday extended a ban on the publication in the media of pictures identifying people as homosexuals, sparking the ire of a leading anti-gay pastor.

Judge Vincent Musoke-Kibuuka extended the ban at a hearing in the case of homophobic tabloid Rolling Stone.

The judge had expected to hear arguments from Rolling Stone newspaper editors defending their right to out gay men and women in their new, sporadically published tabloid.

But Musoke-Kibuuke extended the ban, first issued on November 1, when Rolling Stone managing editor Giles Muhame insisted he was not ready to offer a defence, citing “a problem with my wife”.

Speaking on behalf of the National Coalition Against Homosexuality and Sexual Abuse in Uganda, Pastor Solomon Male accused the court of using the ban on outing to protect “selfish, heartless and aggressive criminal offenders”.

Shouting on the courthouse veranda, Male asked, “How can homosexuals who deliberately break the law claim right to privacy?”

Homosexuality is defined in Uganda’s penal code as “carnal knowledge against the order of nature,” and can attract up to seven years to life in prison.

Male was investigated last year for libel after accusing a prominent Evangelical pastor who ministers to Uganda’s First Lady of sexually abusing teenage boys.

Before ending Tuesday’s hearing, Musoke-Kibuuke scolded Muhame, a 22-year-old undergraduate student, for coming to court unprepared.

“You have given reasons which are not very satisfactory,” the judge said, prompting a mumbled apology from Muhame.

Muhame assured AFP that when the case resumes on Friday, he will vehemently defend his right to publish photos he finds on gay dating websites, as he did in Rolling Stone‘s November 1 issue.

“I can’t tell you what our defence will entail. But we will be ready. We are making very excellent notes,” he said.—Sapa-AFP