UGANDA: Government Raids And Shuts Down Secret LGBT Rights Conference
Acting on the orders of Minister for Ethics & Integrity Simon Lokodo (left), the Ugandan government has raided and shut down a secretly organized conference on LGBT rights.
The two week conference organised by Freedom and Roam Uganda, an association that lobbies for the recognition of same sex relationships in Uganda ended prematurely when the minister ordered them to disperse. "I have closed this conference because it's illegal. We do not accept homosexuality in Uganda. So go back home," Minister Lokodo told the participants. Hotel staff had been asked by the organisers not to direct anyone to Elgon hall where the conference was taking place unless the person had been cleared. This would have required a phone call from the organisers. The Minister said the hotel’s management apologized for hosting the event.Minister Lokodo ordered the arrest of the conference organizer, but according to the above-linked news story, she escaped. That conflicts with another account reported by Box Turtle Bulletin, which states that the organizer was apprehended, but later released. Lokodo is a former Catholic priest who was defrocked last August when he disobeyed Vatican orders to drop his pursuit of a political office.
IMPORTANT: Box Turtle Bulletin's Jim Burroway notes that contrary to Lokodo's statements to the press, Uganda's "kill the gays" bill is still very much on the table. The genesis of that bill came during visits to Uganda by American evangelicals such as Scott Lively.
UPDATE: Local Uganda television has the story.