Friday, 4 February 2011

Writers and Academics Against Homophobia

On the Murder of David Kato, the Ugandan Gay Rights Campaigner

We the undersigned condemn in the strongest possible terms the murder of Mr David Kato the Ugandan gay rights campaigner. We wish to state emphatically that homosexuality is neither a sin nor a social or cultural construct. It is a biological given. Homosexuals are human beings like everybody else. Scientific research has been helpful in clearing the fog of ignorance entrenched by some religious texts in regards to homosexuality. Our opinions of homosexuality must change for the better just as our opinion of slavery has changed even though it was endorsed by those same religious texts. All violence against gays and people deemed to be gay in Africa must cease forthwith.

We call on the government of Uganda to find and prosecute all those involved in the murder of Mr Kato, including the newspaper that called for the hanging of gays. We also call on African governments to learn from the South African example by expunging from their laws all provisions that criminalize homosexuality or treat homosexuals as unworthy of the same rights and entitlements as other citizens. African states must protect the rights of their citizens to freedom and dignity. Homosexuals must not be denied these rights.


1. Wale Adebanwi, PhD, University of California, US
2. Kayode Adeduntan, PhD, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
3. Biola Adegboyega, University of Calgary, Canada
4. Akin Adesokan, PhD, Indiana University, US
5. Anthony Akinola, PhD, Oxford, UK
6. Bode Asiyanbi, Writer, Lancaster University, UK
7. Sefi Atta, Writer, US
8. Damola Awoyokun, Writer, UK
9. Doreen Baingana, Writer, Uganda
10. Igoni Barrett, Writer, Nigeria
11. Chris Dunton, PhD, National University of Lesotho, Lesotho
12. Ropo Ewenla, PhD, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
13. Chris Ihidero, Writer/Lagos State University, Nigeria
14. Ikhide R. Ikheloa, Writer, US
15. Biodun Jeyifo, PhD, Harvard University, US
16. Ebenezer Obadare, PhD, University of Kansas, US
17. Tejumola Olaniyan, PhD, University of Wisconsin, US
18. Akin Omotosho, Actor and filmmaker, South Africa
19. Kole Omotosho, PhD, Africa Diaspora Research Group, South Africa
20. Samuel Sabo, Writer, UK
21. Ramzi Salti, PhD, Stanford University, US
22. Lola Shoneyin, Writer, Nigeria
23. Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate for Literature
24. Olufemi Taiwo, PhD, Seattle University, US
25. Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, Writer, Nigeria
26. Kristy Warren, PhD, University of Warwick, UK

Petitioners Please Reply to: Iya Osoronga

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