Ugandan court extends ban on Rolling Stone’s outing campaign

I knew there was a trial yesterday, but had not heard any news. According to this report, a Ugandan judge extended the ban on the Rolling Stone’s outing campaign.

A Ugandan high court judge on Tuesday extended a ban on the publication in the media of pictures identifying people as homosexuals, sparking the ire of a leading anti-gay pastor.

Judge Vincent Musoke-Kibuuka extended the ban at a Tuesday hearing in the case of homophobic tabloid Rolling Stone, which has no connection to the US magazine.

The judge had expected to hear arguments from Rolling Stone newspaper editors defending their right to out gay men and women in their new, sporadically published tabloid.

But Musoke-Kibuuke extended the ban, first issued on November 1, when Rolling Stone managing editor Giles Muhame insisted he was not ready to offer a defence, citing “a problem with my wife”.

Speaking on behalf of the National Coalition Against Homosexuality and Sexual Abuse in Uganda, Pastor Solomon Male accused the court of using the ban on outing to protect “selfish, heartless and aggressive criminal offenders.”

Shouting on the courthouse veranda, Male asked, “How can homosexuals who deliberately break the law claim right to privacy?”

Homosexuality is defined in Uganda’s penal code as “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”, and can bring a prison sentence of seven years to life.

Male was last year investigated for libel after accusing a prominent Evangelical pastor, who is minister to Uganda’s First Lady, of sexually abusing teenage boys.

Before ending Tuesday’s hearing, Musoke-Kibuuke scolded Muhame, a 22-year-old undergraduate student, for coming to court unprepared.

“You have given reasons which are not very satisfactory,” the judge said, prompting a mumbled apology from Muhame.

Muhame told AFP that when the case resumes on Friday, he will vehemently defend his right to publish photos he finds on gay dating websites, as he did in Rolling Stone’s November 1 issue.

“I can’t tell you what our defence will entail. But we will be ready. We are making very excellent notes,” he said.

Male was joined by Martin Ssempa in making those libelous accusations against Robert Kayanja, a famous pentecostal minister in Kampala.

UPDATE: According to Giles Muhame’s Facebook page, the problem which kept the Rolling Stone from mounting a case was with the lawyer for the Rolling Stone. Apparently his wife just gave birth.

Today Rolling Stone managers appeared in court to defend the right to publish homosexuals in the newspaper. But the case could hardly take off as the newspaper lawyer’s wife had just given birth. The judge accepted our excuse. We are preparing the finest of notes in defence…..Case adjourned to Friday.

Muhame had predicted demonstrations at the court house. I heard from witnesses that no demonstrations took place but that some of the GLB people were harassed and threatened.