David Cecil says most Ugandans are not anti-gay

British gay play producer has said the pastors preaching hate is to blame for the extremist homophobic laws in Uganda

David Cecil says most Ugandans are not anti-gay
19 February 2013

The British gay play producer who was deported from Uganda for being ‘undesirable’ has said the majority of Africans are not homophobic.

David Cecil was originally arrested in September last year after the play, which tells the story of a gay businessman murdered by his colleagues, was performed in private theaters. The charges were later dropped.

On 6 February, Cecil was rearrested and locked up for five days before being deported to the UK.

He is appealing the decision, but could be months before he sees his Ugandan partner and two young children who are still in Kampala.

The producer, who moved to the country in 2003, told the Evening Standard: ‘Uganda is not a terrible place and most people are not homophobic but they are conservative. There are pastors preaching hate, they are the problem.

‘My situation is ridiculous — I just staged a play with a homosexual character — that does not make me ‘undesirable’ and I will fight this crazy decision. I am not even a gay rights activist.’

Speaking about his arrest, Cecil said: ‘These guys were very menacing when they came to arrest me. I did not know if they were hitmen, secret service or what.

‘I was taken to a prison and put in a tiny holding cell with Ugandan criminals, some of them murderers and rapists.

‘There were 42 of us in two rooms, four meters by four meters, it was pretty horrendous. There was one meal of maize and boiled beans a day. It was an awful experience.

‘The authorities did not tell me anything and I was not even allowed to see my children before I was deported days later. I had no time to pack anything — not even a toothbrush.’

If passed, the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill will toughen the law by punishing gay people with death for ‘aggravated homosexuality’. It is currently next on the Ugandan parliament order paper for discussion.

Anyone found to be harboring a gay person, or ‘promoting’ homosexuality such as putting on a gay-themed play, will be jailed for seven years.

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