Kampala court told gays have gone into hiding; will rule in 2 weeks

The first report from Kampala on the Rolling Stone trial comes from the Deutsche Presse Agentur via Monsters and Critics:

Kampala – Uganda’s gay community has gone into hiding after a local tabloid published 100 of their names and pictures, their lawyer told a High Court judge Friday.

Kampala-based weekly Rolling Stone in October published the names and images of people they said were homosexuals, accompanied by the headline: ‘Hang Them, they are after our kids: Pictures of top 100 Homos.’

Gay activists filed a petition in court to restrain the tabloid from further publication of pictures and anti-gay stories, and sought damages and costs incurred following the publication of the article.

‘By publishing the identities of these people and places they were frequenting for dinner, and their residences, it was tantamount to a violation of their rights,’ lawyer Henry Onaria told the Kampala court.

‘Homosexuals have always been harassed but this time they have been put in danger, they cannot move freely and they are in total hiding after this publication,’ he added.

Justice Kibuka Musoke, hearing the petition, said he would rule on the case in two weeks.

There is a small but growing community of gays and lesbians in the East African country, but its members have frequently complained of harassment by both the government and sections of the public.

Last year, a lawmaker presented a bill in parliament spelling out tough penalties for homosexuality, ranging from a few years in jail, to life imprisonment and hanging.

The move prompted a furious reaction from human rights bodies and Uganda’s western donors. The bill was subsequently put on ice.

One would think that a press organization would read other reports or actually cite sources, but not here. What does “put on ice” mean? The Anti-Homosexuality Bill has been stuck in committee, but as readers of CNN, Box Turtle Bulletin or this blog know, those supporting it are claiming that it will move during this session of Parliament.