Last year Ugandan LGBT activist David Kato, who was murdered at his home in January 2011, was a protective fellow at the University of York’s Centre for Applied Human Rights.
Following the murder of David Kato, the Speak Out 4 David Kato campaign has been calling on the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who was born in Uganda and has been a vocal supporter of many human rights causes, to personally condemn homophobic violence.
In response to a petition by the Speak Out 4 David Kato campaign, the Archbishop has today clarified his position, condemning the murder of David Kato and stating that “No-one should have to live under the threat of violence and death, or live in fear because of the bigotry of others.” He added that “Every person has the right to enjoy safety and security regardless of their beliefs or orientation.”
The Speak Out 4 David Kato campaign welcomes the Archbishop’s move to publicly condemn homophobic violence. The founders of the Speak Out 4 David Kato campaign stated, “We are delighted with the Archbishop’s statement. The support of faith leaders is vital in continuing David’s work.”
Following on from the campaign’s success, this Thursday a panel discussion on LGBT rights and Faith will be held at the University of York. The event, in tribute to David, offers an opportunity for increased dialogue among human rights practitioners, the LGBT and faith communities, and members of the wider public around the charged issues of religion and sexuality.
Speakers at the event include: York Minster Theologian, Canon Jonathan Draper; Justice for Gay Africans Society Coordinator Godwyns Onwuchekwa; University of Leeds Research Fellow and specialist in religion and sexuality, Dr Joanna Sadgrove.
The event which takes place on Thursday May 5th from 6.30pm at the University of York’s Law and Management Building Lecture Theatre LMB/002, is free and open to all.