Updated: Gay Activist Beheaded in Uganda…
Is it a Hoax?

Update II: Go here for full hoax story.

Update: Box Turtle Bulletin is now reporting that despite several different sources on this story, it may well not be true. Yes, a young man was murdered, but his connection to Integrity Uganda is now being questioned.

Sources in the U.S. and Uganda now tell me that the young man in question was not connected with Integrity Uganda, and that Bishop Christopher Senyonjo did not make the statement attributed to him by Changing Attitudes. I am still looking for more information and will provide updates as soon as I have them.

Whether the man was involved in gay activism in Uganda or not, this is still a terrible crime. The fact remains, however, that the lives of gay and lesbian Ugandans are in danger every single day – and if the anti-homosexuality measure passes, I fear we’ll be telling many stories of gay people being killed – but by the government that should be protecting them.

As Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality bill continues to languish before the legislature, it appears that some people are not waiting for a law legalizing the killing of gays to take effect before they act. The severed head of a man working with a pro-gay organization in Uganda has been discovered in a latrine.

Judith Nabakooba, a police spokesperson, identified the head as that of Pasikali Kashusbe, one of the workers on Kigggundu’s farm and a member of Integrity Uganda. Pasikali and his partner Abbey are youth workers with Integrity Uganda charged with the responsibility of mobilising young LGBT people in activities which build community capacity to face up to the challenge of homophobia, especially in the area of attitude change and care through drama and sports activities.

The discovery comes after a torso of a man was discovered earlier in the week—missing its genitals.

Pasikali went missing after Uganda’s Martyrs Day early last month. According to AllAfrica.com, the day is celebrated “annually on June 3 in memory of 30 martyrs who died for their faith on the orders of Ssekabaka Mwanga 11 after they refused to denounce the Christian faith.”

At a gathering to mark the day, Ugandan President Museveni blamed the West for homosexuality in Africa.

”Europeans are putting us under pressure because of homosexuality. They think we are against it because of our religious background but even before religion was introduced in the country, we were against homosexuality and any form of sexual abuse,” the president said.

In addition to Pasikali’s death, a priest, Rev Henry Kayizzi Nsubuga, who gave a pro-gay sermon a few weeks ago, is now missing. The New Vision, a Ugandan news site, reports that he was “mentally stressed” but does not mention his support for gays and lesbians.

The reality in Uganda is that the gay and lesbian community is under constant threat of violence or death, and religious leaders in the United States like Lou Engle and others have a direct responsibility in fueling the flames of hatred in that country.

Colin Coward, at the Changing Attitude blog, calls on the Anglican Communion to put aside its own bickering about homosexuality, and make it clear that such violence against gay and lesbian people cannot be part of any religion:

Pasikali’s death is tragic, and stands as a reason why the Anglican Communion must change its teaching on homosexuality. There is no reason why the consciences of those who oppose the full inclusion of LGBT people should be allow to inhibit change in the church. The prevention of torture and murder of any individual must always be the first priority, ensuring that all citizens and Christians can live in an environment of love, security and affirmation.

The longer the argument about avoiding splits and schism in the church continues in the face of the horrendous legislation proposed in Uganda and the murder of LGBT people in the UK and the USA as well as Uganda and other African countries, the more insistent becomes the call for change in the church, NOW.