• Sweden edition
 
Ugandan couple's family suffers over gay wedding

Ugandan couple's family suffers over gay wedding

Published: 06 Feb 2013 18:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Feb 2013 18:12 GMT+01:00

The ailing mother of Jimmy Sserwadda, who married his childhood sweetheart in a groundbreaking wedding in Sweden last week, was verbally attacked after news of her son's gay marriage reached Uganda.

“They basically blamed me being gay and me bringing shame on Uganda on her,” an audibly rattled Sswerwada told The Local on the phone.

He added that his sister was forced to bring their mother to hospital to be treated for high blood pressure following the incident.

“I really don’t understand it. These people say they are against gays because of religion, culture and ‘African Values’. Some even said Europeans politicians had paid us to bring shame to Uganda," he said.

The accusations that Sserwadda and his new husband got married for money do not upset him.

“If we were interested in money, we would have married other people. Neither of us is well off,” he explained.

He denies the accusation that European politicians have acted deliberately in supporting their marriage to bring shame on Uganda, a claim splashed across the Ugandans tabloids, according to Sserwadda.

That Sweden’s European Affairs Minister Birgitta Olsson, an outspoken LGBT rights proponent, attended the ceremony in a church north of Stockholm added fuel to the fire, he said.

“There were gay Ugandans long before white men arrived in Africa,” he said.

“Homosexuality in Uganda predates colonialism.”

Apart from the verbal scorn heaped on his mother, Sserwadda’s adult son was also confronted by fellow students in his university residence hall.

“He has my picture on his wall and one day, as he walked home from a lecture, he was met by a group of students who were holding the picture and had recognized me from the headlines,” Sserwadda recalled.

“They kept asking him if he was gay too. He said he wanted to be kept out of it,” said Sswerwada.

His son felt exceedingly ill at ease due to the tone of the conversation, which he felt verged on threatening. Sserwadda has since enlisted a private councilor to talk his son through the stress.

Despite the inflammatory tone at home, Sserwadda does not regret being open about his marriage.

“Love has no law, no boundaries, and no restrictions,” he told The Local.

“So I don’t regret what I did. One, because I love my husband. Two, because I needed to save him. Three, because this is who I am.”

Sserwada’s husband Lawrence has refiled his application to stay in Sweden with the Migration Board (Migrationsverket).

They hope to have a ruling within the next few weeks. If sent back to Uganda, Lawrence faces anti-gay persecution, they say.

In the mean time, Sserwada is keeping a close eye on an upcoming debate on homosexuality in the Ugandan parliament.

"I love my country, but we must change the laws that make us flee to Europe for protection," he said.

Ann Törnkvist

Follow Ann on Twitter here

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:23 February 6, 2013 by dekamikaze
"The accusations that Sserwadda and his new husband got married for money do not upset him." His new husband? Holy mother of god, yak!

Perhaps, sweden should bring his family here too, family reunion, which already works well in sweden.
18:37 February 6, 2013 by hackie
Shame on your for putting shame on your family members back home. You are enjoying your gay fantasies in Sweden and your family is suffering the consequences of your action back home. Common sense should have told you not to make noise. Have you not heard that it is the empty barrel that makes the loudest noise? You sought asylum and you are making noise about it. Is asylum not about protection? Where is the protection now?
20:14 February 6, 2013 by polartwist
I have the feeling that we will have a of "African Values" here in the next years...
06:28 February 7, 2013 by rybo1
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
09:10 February 7, 2013 by StockholmSam
Hackie, take your ignorance and go back to where you belong. In a barrel, apparently.
09:40 February 7, 2013 by bourgeoisieboheme
This story sounded like a scam when it was first announced... a couple from Uganda, splits and randomly by chance they find each other again in Sweden and before one gets deported, marry. i hope it is true but if not, as statistics say this is nearly impossible, best asylum scam there is. Now to further add to it, the mother is now at risk so of course, she will have to come to Sweden along with alllll of the other family as they will be at risk and on and on.
11:59 February 8, 2013 by omash kavash
stockholm sam ur a douchebag noow you supporting hommosexuality is that civilization? heheh if thats civilization then sam ur more civilized but you tend to loose
14:24 February 8, 2013 by Jes
Swerwadda reveals that he is hiding something . First ,he says that "love has no law ,no bounderies ,no restrictions " If that is waht he believes , why does he need to get marriade then? Doesn`t he understand that a marriage certificate is a LEGAL & restrictive document ?

But then he says : "I needed to save him " . Maybe , this is the only truth in his statements . This makes it all about getting a residence permitt and nothing much about "love", doesn`t it ?

I have been to Uganda and I know the place and the people very very well . If Minister Brigitta Olsson was really after justice , she should be carefull not be unjust to Ugandans by believing all the exaggerations that are put out my the media .

Homosexuals in Uganda are in no more ganger than they are anywhere else in some parts of Europe . In Luzira prison outside Kampala , there isn`t a single person who has been sent there just because they are gay . Sserwadda might have told you about his son`s scorning at Makerere University ; what he leaves out is to mention that one of the most audible gay activist in Uganda ( also a lesbian) works as a professor of law in the same University . How is it that she is never arrested let alone killed ? Sserwadda also knows that there is a pub in Kampala where homosexuals meet . Why doesn`t he tell you how many gay people have been killed there ? Is because he is aware that there is none ?

I can even bet that if Sserwadda`s wife gets his residence parmit in Sweden , the first trip will be back to Uganda to buy land with the donations that they have collected from their clueless sympathisers . .

Sserwadda is hiding something . When I was in Uganda recently , I saw a chiness man getting arrested . It was allaged that this man was paying some women about 100 kronor to get him underage girls for sex . He was found with 3 under age girls in his Hotel room in Rubaga . He paid less than 50 kronor to each girl he slept with !

Then there was a Turkish man who also doing the same . He is in jail in Luzira . The point that Minister Brigitta Olsson is missing is that Uganda is currently expriencing a lot of sexual crimes that the Sserwaddas will not talk about . Pedophiles , gay or not are outhere taking advantage of the poor parentless children .When some of these pedophiles feel cornered , they run to the gay community and claim that they are about to be "killed" because of they are gay .

Before Minister Brigitta Olsson attends the next gay wedding by a Uganda who is about to be deported , she shoud sneak into Uganda and spend some time studying how Ugandan people behave . They are the most understanding , most welcoming people on earth ! Sserwadda knows that being scorned is not something one can run away from , because crewel or ignorant people are not only found in Uganda . What he needs to do is to tell the truth , respect others before expecting others to respect him .
15:30 February 8, 2013 by tadchem
Jimmy knows his family better than anyone else. He should have been able to anticipate how this choice of his would affect them. That means he is either clueless or indifferent to their feelings. His spouse should accept that fact as a warning about the relationship.
17:30 February 8, 2013 by Jes
" There were gay men ling before white men arrived in Uganda " says Birgitta Olsson

" Homosexuality in Uganda predates colonialism " she adds .

A display of a superiority complex is noted .

Which is why this Minister needs some education first : it was colonial Britain that made sodomy a crime . It is therefore rather insulting for Birgitta Olsson to rebuke Africans for enforcing laws that were put and left in place by their colonisers .

Also , there was polygamy in Uganda before and after the arrival of christianity and Islam . Christianity forbids polygamy , while Islam reccommens it for those who can handle it .

The question is sexuality is very simple to sort out ; but what about the one of hypocricy ? Can Birgitta assure the rest of us that Sweden protects the rights of every one ? Supposing it was found out that polygamy and prostitution were part of sexual practices long before Sweden made its laws , will the Minister stand up and defend the right of a man to marry as many as wives as he chooses or a woman to sell sex if she chooses to ? When will Sweden allow its muslim citizens to practice polygamy as their religions clears them to do ? When will Sweden allow women to sell their sexual services to anyone they agree with ? Surely , there cannot be one rule for African Uganda , and another for European Sweden ; that is not the equality that Birgitta Olsson preaches about , is it ?

What if Sserwadda wants to marry 3 men ; will the Minister attend that wedding ? if not , what happens to this individuals right to do what he wants in the name of love ?

Pesonally , I am all for freeom for all mankind . Gay people should be left free to fall in love with who ever they want . But I am totally opposed to the notion of emposing ones choises on another . Respect is should be a 2-way street . Sweden should not force Uganda to accept Swedish values without question . Uganda should also not make primitive laws . People like Sserwadda should be sensitive to their countrymens feelings and not exaggerate the situation . They should also try to resist the temptation to exploit and lie to Swedish people who are genuinely interested in helping out .
15:53 February 9, 2013 by prince T
To say gay existed before white men came to africa is a lie and foolish propanganda.

Actually UK treated gay cases as mental health issue until 1973 wen it was reoked. Why blame africa now. Kenyas were living with gorrillas before we took over their land throu colonialism and no history of man sleepin with animal until we got there. Now we blame hiv on them.

The minister is trying to be political correct. She has missed it on several occassions. I do not want to comment on this case but i will comment on the lies being spread around.
10:52 February 10, 2013 by allnotmoney
Europians never say something positive about Africa,all the information you are getting here about Africa are 80 percent lies,Kenya is all about jungle,Ganbia is all about ganja,Somalia is all about civil war,Nigeria is all about ghetto,Liberia is all about HIV,uganda is all about gay,all is just sh,,,t to say the fact many of us are better off in our respective countries than here now
14:40 February 10, 2013 by Jes
# prince T ,

I wouldn`t say that the Minister is trying to be politically correct . I think that she is one those white people who still think that it is their job to civilize non-white people , especially Africans .

Her statements reveal that she thinks that Africas must be taught their own history by a Minister from Sweden . And to prove that whites are superior to black Africans , there she stands , displaying and posing for photos with her 2 black trophies - 2 Ugandan men who are too hypotonized by all the glamour ( plus the need to win residence parmit) to see that they are being used at the cost of embarrasing their own families back in Uganda .

I would advise the Minister and the gay community to take a step back and first try and understand the reasons why Africa has rejected homosexuality this far .Forcing , dictating , insulting or blackmailing Africans to accept what the white World believes to be "CORRECT " is counter-productive .
11:15 February 11, 2013 by Cmuthama@yahoo.com
I commented about this last week and write about what the gay couple's family will go through.

Homosexuality is unacceptable in Africa.

Yes, there is some, very hidden

Considering the circumstances and the negative emotions towards gay in Africa, the Ugandan gay couple ought to have been sensitive and exercised restraint instead of going public.

But then, its a gimmick to get Swedish residence permit.

Why one would leave Uganda to live in Sweden is a mystery to me. Uganda is such a beautiful country. They hope they will make it better economically in Sweden than they did in Uganda. That will not happen

Shame....Shame....Shame!
10:13 February 13, 2013 by salalah
Sooo..the Minister attended the wedding because thay are black and gay? Is that a sensation? Sort of like saying: Look we got some black ni-as here on display to show how tolerant we are..and gay..full score in diversity!!!
11:03 February 13, 2013 by Jes
Shame on Birgitta Olsson ! Gay people marry every every week-end in Sweden . How many of their wedding get so much attention from Minister Birgitta Olsson ? Instead of attending a wedding of these two men who claim to have accidentaly re-united in Sweden , why doesn`t The Minister join that Party that was rebuked for suggesting that polygamy should not be illegal in a free society ?

I would like to see her atteding a wedding where a Swedish man is getting marriade to his fourth husband . That is the one that will prove how tolerant Sweden is - really .
13:06 February 13, 2013 by Migga
@ Jes

Polygamy doesn`t belong in a free society when it`s only men who are allowed to marry more then one woman.
14:24 February 13, 2013 by Jes
@ Migga ,

I take it that you fail to detect the sarcasm in my comment . My intention was to expose the hypocricy .

I simplify it for you : a "free society" should be a free society for all . At least that is what Birgitta Olsson & Co. preach . Who decides what belongs where is the question that freedm-seekers are yet to answer . Is it only in Swedn that the term "free society " is applied ?
Today's headlines
Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party have stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

751
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com