The Courage Of Conviction Of Gays In Uganda

Readers of the international press have been aware of the deteriorating situation for homosexuals in Africa, where draconian laws  that date back to colonial times have been invigorated by a mindless religious fervor that threatens the safety of those who wish to live by their own truth. In the shattering documentary CALL ME KUCHU, co-directors Katherine Fairfax-Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall bring us right into the heart of the conflict in Uganda, where homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment and even death. The film introduces us to David Kato, one of the few openly gay men in Uganda, who bravely battles the archaic laws and risks personal injury and rejection. In a country where the tabloid press routinely publishes the pictures, names and addresses of known gays and lesbians, with an admonishment to its readers to shame, beat and even hang them, the courage of Kato and his tightknit group of fellow activists is nothing short of astonishing. As has been reported in the press, this firestorm of intolerance is being encouraged by visiting American evangelical preachers who stir up crowds to reject and punish the gay blasphemers. As the Ugandan government contemplates an Anti-Homosexuality Bill that would not only punish those who express their truest natures, but also imprison and punish those who conceal knowledge of them, Kato and his supporters  vigorously fight for acceptance and justice rather than continue to live in fear. Unfortunately, last year Kato paid the ultimate price for his visibility…..he was murdered by a mob that has still not been indicted for the crime. The passion stirring the killing of this high profile gay activist has not only garnered international comment but has emboldened the incredibly brave community of “out” activists to push even harder for fundamental human rights. At a question and answer session following Wednesday night’s screening, one of the activists portrayed in the film was given a standing ovation. The film celebrates the beauty, determination and amazing courage of these activists who ignore personal threats to bring their country into the larger stream of international acceptance of the LGBT community. The film, which is making the rounds of the international festival circuit, is a wakeup call for right thinking people to turn their focus to the struggle for human rights in this small African nation. For more information on this amazing film, visit: www.callmekuchu.com

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