Two gay men from Uganda are to remain in Sweden in order to ensure their safety, the Swedish Migration Board ruled this week. Swedish resident Jimmy Sserwadda and his partner Lawrence Kaala have claimed to be the first gay couple from Uganda ever to have been legally married. The two have been residing in Stockholm since marrying in a local church early in the year.
However, Kaala learned shortly after the wedding that he was facing deportation to his homeland after his application was denied, despite the fact that Sserwadda’s had been approved. And it wasn’t the first time the couple had dealt with adversity in their relationship, as they had been separated prior for an extended period due to persecution under Uganda’s notorious anti-gay laws.
However, after re-filing Mr Kaala’s application, officials have now said that his residency is approved and the process will not require him to travel back to Kampala to complete standard application requirements.
Sserwadda told The Local news agency, “Lawrence will not have to go back to Uganda.”
He added, “After our story appeared in English in The Local it began to circulate in Uganda and people started making threats that we would be killed if we returned. I think the explosion of media attention made migration officials realize how real the danger was. He couldn’t return after being ousted like that.”
He went on to add that those seeking asylum in Sweden face a very difficult process and that more should be done to help gay asylum seekers find refuge in Sweden. “It’s really a lottery,” he said. “Sometimes the officials involved don’t even believe you’re gay. More and more are coming from all over the world and they need our help.”