Friday, January 28, 2011

Kato's Bizarre Funeral

David Kato was buried today. Barely.

A Ugandan gay activist beaten to death with a hammer on Wednesday (see below), Kato knew a thing or two about homophobia. Last October a newspaper printed his picture on the front page and called for gays to be hanged.

And today homophobia crashed his funeral, as unwelcome as a drunken cousin.

Reuters provided an appalling account of events. During the funeral, attended by about 300 people, about 100 of whom were gay, the pastor conducting the service chose to get some things off his chest.

"The world has gone crazy," he told those assembled. "People are turning away from the scriptures. They should turn back, they should abandon what they are doing. You cannot start admiring a fellow man."

Perhaps the sight of Kato's gay friends wearing t-shirts featuring his face and rainbow-colored sleeves made the pastor's appropriateness chip short out.

The activists rushed the pulpit and grabbed the microphone. The pastor shouted, "It is ungodly," the last words he got in, thank goodness.

"Who are you to judge others?" shouted a woman. "We have not come to fight. You are not the judge of us. As long as he's gone to God his creator, who are we to judge Kato?"

Villagers, perhaps fearful one of the gays would jam a rainbow shirt on the pastor, scuffled with Kato's supporters.

Then the locals refused to bury Kato, so his friends carried the coffin and performed the burial.

They gave new meaning to "friends till the end."

Her voice breaking, Julian Pepe told Reuters, "After we had read statements from everybody, including Obama, after all the nice things friends said about David, that this man could stand up and throw dirt at someone who should be resting in peace. It's just disgusting."