Newspapers are generally regarded for their roles in societies as giving citizens a tool to better monitor their governments and other officials, and pushing for progress and promoting free speech. One newspaper in Uganda, operating on the opposite end of the spectrum, has been ordered to stop publishing the names of citizens it says are gay, according to a Reuters report, posted yesterday by the Irish Times.
The newspaper, called Rolling Stone, last month published the names and photos of citizens it said were homosexual, and called on authorities to put them to death. The headline was called "Men of Shame Part II," and followed the publication last month of 100 other people it alleged were gay.
Image: AP, via the Guardian
The Sexual Minorities Uganda group petitioned the country's high court to close the publication, as it was opening up innocent people to discrimination at the least, and violence at the worst, Frank Mugisha, chairman of the group, told Reuters.
Under Ugandan law, homosexuality is outlawed. Several people in the list published by Rolling Stone experienced harassment, according to the Guardian.
The new weekly tabloid has a circulation of about 2,000. It was launched by graduates of Kampala Makerere University in August. Anti-gay sentiment has increased recently, due to campaigns by politicians and evangelical preachers, who are pushing government officials to pass a law in order to jail gay people for life, or even give them the death penalty, the Guardian explained.
However, Rolling Stone was not the first to make a move against the country's gay community. Other tabloids, such as Red Pepper, have outed gays several times in past years.