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Obama mourns David Kato, prominent African gay rights advocate beaten to death

January 27, 2011 |  3:42 pm

Ugandan newspaper front page re David Kato

David Kato, an internationally-known gay rights activist, was murdered Wednesday following a Ugandan newspaper's publication of a long list of what it said were the country's "top" gays, along with their photographs and addresses.

Kato was found hammered to death in his home. Police suggested it was a robbery.

Others, apparently including President Obama, suspect otherwise.

Saying that he was speaking on behalf of the American people, Obama said, "LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights."

See the president's full statement below:

Statement by the President on the Killing of David Kato

I am deeply saddened to learn of the murder of David Kato. In Uganda, David showed tremendous LGBT activist David Kato of Uganda courage in speaking out against hate. He was a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom. The United States mourns his murder, and we recommit ourselves to David’s work. 

At home and around the world, LGBT persons continue to be subjected to unconscionable bullying, discrimination, and hate. 

In the weeks preceding David Kato’s murder in Uganda, five members of the LGBT community in Honduras were also murdered. It is essential that the Governments of Uganda and Honduras investigate these killings and hold the perpetrators accountable.

LGBT rights are not special rights; they are human rights. My Administration will continue to strongly support human rights and assistance work on behalf of LGBT persons abroad. We do this because we recognize the threat faced by leaders like David Kato, and we share their commitment to advancing freedom, fairness and equality for all.     ####

Photos: Associated Press