by Robert Bell
REV. MARK KIYIMBA
6 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock. Free.
The majority of this space in the Arkansas Times is dedicated to entertainment and fun and distraction from the workaday world. What you'll hear about at this event is not entertaining but a situation that you absolutely should, at the very least, be aware of.
Right now, much of Uganda is in the grip of a violent paroxysm of homophobia — a bizarre, collective mental illness that reaches to the upper echelons of the government. An evangelical MP in the Ugandan Parliament named David Bahati (e-mail: email@example.com) recently proposed pending legislation that would make homosexuality — already illegal in the country — a capital crime.
The sickness isn't limited to legislators. A tabloid called, ironically, Rolling Stone, has published names, personal details and photos of gay Ugandans. "HANG THEM: THEY ARE AFTER OUR KIDS!!!" screamed one headline from early October. Gay activist David Kato, whose photo had been published in Rolling Stone and who had recently won a court victory against the publication, was beaten to death at his home in January.
Rev. Mark Kiyimba, an LGBT rights activist and founder of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Uganda, recently left his country, fearing for his safety. Kiyimba is traveling across the United States to raise awareness of the persecution LGBT Ugandans face every day.