Anglican priests sue bishop over gay sackings

Bishop Joseph Kagunda (Facebook)

Bishop Joseph Kagunda (Facebook)

Three fired Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) priests have sued Mt Kenya West Diocese Bishop Joseph Kagunda following a gay sex witch-hunt.

The clergymen were suspended in September after a young man claimed that he was lured into a gay sex act by one of the priests.

Church investigations then led to further accusations against four other priests, resulting in the men’s firing.

“Anyone who feels that homosexuals and gay marriages should be allowed in church should find a different denomination because the behaviour does not reflect the institution of marriage started by God,” said Bishop Kagunda at the time.

Three of the fired priests, John Njogu Gachau, James Maina and Paul Mwangi Warui, who have denied the claims, have now sued  Kagunda for defamation, reported Daily Nation.

Their lawyers say that Kagunda made defamatory and untrue public statements about them, which were reported in the media, suggesting that the former priests were “sexual pervert[s]”, of “corrupt morals” and unworthy of being church leaders.

The plaintiffs further claim that the tribunals through which they were fired did not follow due process as outlined in the church’s constitution.

The men have also challenged their sackings at the Employment and Labour Relations Court.

Gay sex is illegal in Kenya, with penalties of between five to 14 years’ imprisonment.

The Kenyan Anglican Church has been a vocal critic of moves by some Western Anglican churches to be more accepting of gays and lesbians.

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