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Suspended Kenyan priest: I am not homosexual

The Rev. John Njogu Gachau (Photo by Kibata Kihu courtesy of Standard Digital)
The Rev. John Njogu Gachau (Photo by Kibata Kihu courtesy of Standard Digital)

A senior Kenyan priest today publicly rejected the accusations of homosexuality that led to his suspension and that of four other priests by the Anglican Church of Kenya.

The Rev. John Njogu Gachau, accused of “luring young boys into sex in his parish house,” said the accusations were untrue and offensive.

He described himself as “a morally upright man with a loving wife and three adoring kids,” according to The Nairobian as reported on Standard Digital. “These accusations are false. I don’t get why a man can level such abhorrent claims against a servant of God. I have never had sex with a fellow man. This is just distasteful.”

An archdeacon, Gachau was second in command after Bishop Joseph Kagunda in the  Mt. Kenya West Diocese in central Kenya.  Gachau was the leader of the St. Andrew Anglican Church Kagongo Parish in Othaya, Nyeri County.

Gachau had unsuccessfully vied for election to the position of diocesan bishop in 2004.

Kagunda announced the suspensions Sept. 10 after the five clergymen were investigated and found guilty by an appointed 10-person tribunal, he said. They will not be allowed to serve in any Anglican Church in the country, he said.

“Anyone who feels that homosexuals and gay marriages should be allowed in Church should find a different denomination,” he told the Daily Nation.

Changing Attitude Kenya logo
Changing Attitude Kenya logo

A faith-based organization that seeks acceptance of LGBTI people in the church criticized Kaguna’s words and actions.

“The church is trying to divide us on sexual orientation, which is not acceptable at all,” said the Rev. Kenneth Changes, the organization’s Nairobi-based leader.  The priests are preparing an appeal of the bishop’s action, he said.

If the five priests do not appeal, they face excommunication.

Gachau said his conscience is clear.  He is sure that his parishioners will testify that he has stood for “the good of society and well-being of every person I met,” he said.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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