Gay Ugandan Refused Entry to UK Because Homosexuality Is Illegal in His
January 31, 2005
By Peter Moore 365Gay.com London Bureau
London—A gay Ugandan man has been
denied a visa to enter Britain because there is a warrant for his arrest in
his home country—a warrant that was issued because he is gay.
Chris Stentaza had been invited to the UK by the Church
of England. Stentaza had been a teacher at an Anglican run school in Uganda
but was fired and forced to go into hiding after speaking at a conference of
gay Christians in Manchester 15 months ago.
Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda, punishable by lengthy
Stentaza was rejected for a visa by the British high
commission in the Ugandan capital of Kampala based only on the fact that a
warrant had been issued on charges of “crimes against nature”.
He had been invited to the UK to meet Canon Gregory
Cameron, the secretary to the church’s commission responsible for last
October’s Windsor report which investigated ways of keeping the worldwide
communion together in the wake of the election of an openly gay bishop in the
The primates of the worldwide church will meet next month
to discuss the report and Canon Cameron is taking soundings from different
church groups before they do so.
Canon Cameron said that Stentaza’s views could have
been important to the outcome of the meetings.
The head of the Ugandan Anglican Church, the Most Rev
Henry Orombi, has called on US Episcopalians to “repent of their unbiblical
behaviour and teaching” for electing Gene Robinson, the gay bishop of New
The Rev Colin Coward, the director of the Church of
England’s gay lobby group Changing Attitudes, said it was outrageous to deny
Stentaza a visa.
“The British government is failing to recognize that
there are people applying for visas who need support and encouragement to
enable them to take part in the church’s consultation processes. It was
important for Christ’s voice to be heard.”
Changing Attitudes was sponsoring Stentaza’s trip and
had paid for his ticket.
The refusal of a visa to Stentaza came only days after
gay rights leader Peter Tatchell was briefly arrested for staging a protest
during a Holocaust memorial at Parliament where he assailed the government for
ignoring the pleas of asylum seekers and sending them back to their homelands.
Pleading with MPs and other attendees not to let the
Holocaust occur again, Tatchell said that people seeking asylum from genocide
and persecution are often turned away.
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