Ugandans named in anti-gay hit list win damages, injunction

Photo of Rolling Stone newspaper. Headline reads 100 Photos of Uganda's Top Homos LeakThe Guardian reports that a high court in Uganda has awarded just over £400 each in damages to 3 individuals named in a lawsuit against the Rolling Stone newspaper that published a list of 100 people the paper called “Uganda’s top homos” with the headline “Hang them.” Further, the court ruled the paper violated the constitutional rights to privacy and safety of the people named in the article and issued an injunction against the Rolling Stone newspaper telling them not to publish such a list again.

Sadly the injunction can’t protect the 100 people who were on the original list, Some of whom have already experienced attacks as a result. The injunction is important though, as it could prevent such an attack on individuals in Uganda again.

The Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law in Uganda, which brought this case to court, explained the ruling:

According to the group the court ruling, released today, noted that the issue was not homosexuality but the “fundamental rights and freedoms” of those named, particularly through the incitement to violence.

Adrian Jjuuko, from the group, said: “The ruling firmly establishes the principle that constitutionally protected rights belong to all Ugandans, whatever their perceived sexuality.”

This is an important ruling for Uganda, where the Rolling Stone newspaper article followed the notorious “kill the gays” bill. I hope this is the first step in a better direction for LGBT folks in Uganda.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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