Ugandan gay rights activists braved hostility and stigma Thursday as they gathered to commemorate the first anniversary of the murder of their fellow campaigner David Kato.
"We are here to celebrate and thank God for our beloved friend and human rights activist David Kato," former Anglican bishop and gay rights campaigner Christopher Senyonjo told a crowd of around 100 activists and family members.
Gay rights activists speaking at the event called Kato, 46 at the time of his death, "the godfather" of the Ugandan gay movement and said that his passing had left a large void in the life of the country's gay community.
"He always looked out for all of us even at times when we thought it was too difficult," Frank Mugisha, director of SMUG, said at the function in central Kampala.
Kato's family members at the event spoke of the support that they had received from campaigners both in Uganda and the international community following his death
"It is not easy when a loved one dies but thanks to all the friends inside and outside Uganda who worked with David ... when I get down they lift me up and help me," said Nalongo Kisule, Kato's mother.
COMMENT: So, please, no talk of going it alone. As you can see from this article it is incredibly important that we view our fight for justice as a world war, not a local skirmish. The haters do just that and there would be nothing they would like better than the good guys leaving them to it in Africa and Asia. And if we let them dictate the agenda there will be hangings. We know that. They have shown the world that is exactly what they want to happen.