Minister Lokodo Defends Closure of Gay Meeting

2136 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Ethics and Integrity Minister, Simon Lokodo, has defended his actions of closing a gay meeting early this year in Entebbe. The Minister in his defense states that this was done in public interest to protect moral standards since homosexuality in Uganda is prohibited.

Ethics and Integrity Minister, Simon Lokodo, has defended his actions of closing a gay meeting early this year in Entebbe.

The Minister in his defense states that this was done in public interest to protect moral standards since homosexuality in Uganda is prohibited.

This was contained in his written defense in reply to a suit filed against him by four gay activists before the High Court in Kampala, accusing him of infringing on their rights when he closed their ongoing two –week meeting.

The activists include; Jacqueline Kasha Nabagesera, Julian Pepe Onziema, Frank Mugisha and Geoffrey Ogwaro.

Lokodo states that when he went into the workshop venue hall he noted that most of the participants were mainly youth of both sexes who were standing and there was no longer any workshop activity. He adds that when he was told that the participants were homosexuals he ordered the workshop to be closed.

Lokodo, a former catholic priest, further states that homosexual and lesbian sex are unnatural carnal practices, which are against the order of nature under the laws of Uganda.

To justify further his actions, the minister states that the fleeing away of Kasha, the organizer of the workshop moments after its premature closure, meant that the activities she was engaging in were unlawful.

The workshop in question had been secretly organized at Imperial Resort Beach Entebbe in February, by Freedom and Roam Uganda, an association that lobbies for the recognition of same sex relationships in Uganda especially lesbians.

According to the Kasha, in her affidavit before court, the meeting was intended to: train and equip participants from various walks of life with project planning, advocacy, human rights, leadership and business skills. 

But the minister claims the literature they seized from the workshop, was aimed at promoting same sex and they were also being promised funding to recruit more youth into the vice.

On Friday, when the two parties met before trial judge Eldad Mwanguhya, contentious issues were sorted out to level the ground for a smooth hearing.

The lawyers of the gay activists moved the court to have the minister summoned to appear in court and be cross examined over his defense. Subsequently, the judge granted their request and the minister is expected in the dock on September 24.

Last month, another gay meeting was stopped on the orders of Minister Lokodo. At least two gay activists were picked up from Essella Country Hotel in Kiira near Kampala, but were later released without charge.

The minister later announced what he called a plan by government to close up to 38 non-governmental organisations supporting gays.
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