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Gay Kenyan rugby player loses battle to stay in UK days after native country rules to uphold anti-gay law

Kenneth Macharia plays for the Bristol Bisons and has been in the UK since 2009

2019-06-03

Words: Steve Brown

A Bristol rugby player has lost his battle to stay in the UK weeks after his native country Kenya ruled to uphold criminalising homosexuality.

Kenneth ‘Ken’ Macharia – an openly gay team member of the Bristol Bisons – has been in the UK since 2009 and worked through his visa.

But last year, the Kenyan was detained for two weeks and said he is living in fear of being sent back to the African nation which just days ago ruled to uphold its archaic anti-gay laws.

Now, Ken has been told by the Home Office that his right to stay in the UK has been revoked and his family and friends say he may be detained and sent back to Kenya immediately where he will face persecution over his sexuality.

Despite the Foreign Office warning British LGBTQ travellers about holding hands or kissing in public in the African nation, the UK Government refuses asylum to Kenyans making claims on the basis of their sexual orientation, ITV News reported.

A petition – set up by the Bristol Bisons – has received more than 100,000 signatures and can be signed here.