Uganda Gay Sex Trial Adjourned Until Next Year

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Monday December 16, 2013

A British man will have to wait until next year to find out his fate after a Uganda court adjourned his case of "trafficking obscene publications," after his personal sex photos were leaked to a tabloid.

According to Gay Star News, 65-year-old Bernard Randall's trial was postponed until Jan. 22, 2014. Randall claims that his laptop was stolen and images of him in bed with another man were published in the "notorious homophobic tabloid newspaper Red Pepper."

He said that the alleged laptop thieves will now face trial first, saying, "If they are found guilty then it means that what I said is true, they robbed me so (there was) no trafficking on my part."

Randall said that the Sept. 28 laptop theft was part of a blackmail sting against him and other LGBTs, claiming the thieves contacted Pastor Moses Solomon Male, who leads Uganda's anti-homosexuality crusade, and reporting that Randall wanted to sodomize him. Randall claims that Male passed a video on his laptop to Red Pepper, with claims that he was trying to corrupt young boys.

If found guilty, he faces a two-year sentence or deportation from Uganda. The country already punishes LGBTs with life imprisonment for having gay sex, as reported in an AP article, but a new law would have them facing the death penalty if found to be a repeat offender.

The Independent had reported on Nov. 27 that Randall would be deported on Dec. 6, in an effort for the Ugandan authorities to "avoid being seen as persecuting homosexuals."

"For the sake of my family and friends my wish is to be able to leave as originally planned on 6 December to spend Christmas with them. I want no bar on me returning at some time in the future but I see that now as a forlorn hope. I want to escape this nightmare," Randall told The Independent.

According to that report, Randall's 33-year-old Ugandan partner Albert Cheptoyek still faces a serious charge of seven years in prison for "acts of gross indecency." He has denied the charges.

"We don't know if we are going to be killed because we're already in the newspaper so everyone knows I'm gay and we're scared for our lives because in Uganda it's not allowed," Cheptoyek told The Independent.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.