Athlete who feared death because she is a lesbian celebrating first Liverpool Christmas with partner

LAST DECEMBER, as part of our Advent theme on Journeys, we heard the story of Margaret, a former Commonwealth sportswoman from Uganda seeking asylum in Liverpool. This year we celebrated with her and her partner Lydia as they won the right to remain in the UK and be together.

Lydia and Margaret celebrating Christmas at St Bride's

Lydia and Margaret celebrating Christmas at St Bride's

The Liverpool Echo has followed the story of Margaret, who prefers to be known as Megan, and published an update on its website today:

A former Commonwealth Games athlete who feared she would lose her life if she was deported back to her native Uganda is now instead looking forward to sharing her first Christmas in Britain with her partner.

Megan Nankabirwa, who now lives in Liverpool, fled to Britain from her home near Kampala three years ago after a neighbour discovered her in bed with her partner Lydia Nabukenya. Lesbianism is against the law in Uganda and many Ugandans hold very conservative views about sexuality. The couple feared the Ugandan authorities would prosecute and imprison them and they also feared violence from members of the community.

The pair had to fight hard to win the right to stay in Britain . An initial tribunal judge disbelieved that they were lovers and turned down their application. They eventually won an appeal, but not before Lydia came within hours of being deported. She had been taken to Yarlswood Detention Centre pending deportation the next day and was only released after church leaders and politicians from Merseyside intervened on her behalf.
— Liverpool Echo 23/12/17

Read the story in full here.

While we are delighted that Megan and Lydia can begin to make a new life for themselves here, they still need our prayers and support as they are currently homeless and living apart in temporary accommodation.

We look forward to helping them make a new home together in 2018.