Stockholm – Two Ugandan men who married in a Swedish church claim to be the first Ugandan gays to be legally married. One of the newly wed husbands faces possible deportation to Uganda where homosexuality is illegal and can carry a lifelong prison sentence.
The Local reported Lawrence Kaala and Jimmy Sserwadda married just over one week ago in a church in Järfälla, Stockholm. According to Gay Star News, Jon Voss, editor of Sweden’s QX, said the wedding was a “historic event not only for the lucky two, but for the LGBT community and movement in Uganda.”
Kaala and Sswerwadda were reunited in Sweden after being separated due to persecution in their native Uganda. However, while Sserwadda’s asylum application has been approved, Kaala’s has been denied. As news of the wedding is widely reported, Kaala faces immediate arrest if he is returned to Uganda.
In Uganda the much publicized anti-gay legislation is due to be debated again when parliament reconvenes on Feb. 4. Al Jazeera reported Ugandan Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga claimed the country’s culture had “no space for gays.” The legislation, which was promised as a Christmas gift, has been delayed.
As Digital Journal reported the legislation “advocates life imprisonment for some homosexuals, and prohibits the ratification of any international protocols which are contrary to Ugandan law regarding homosexuality. Earlier provisions to introduce the death penalty for homosexuals have been dropped.” The amended proposals advocate a life sentence for homosexuals when one participant is a minor, has HIV, or is deemed a serial offender.
Kaala will appeal against his impending deportation on grounds of his marriage to Sswerwadda.
by Katerina Nikolas
Source – Digital Journal