Gay man faces deaths threats in Zambia after UK civil partnership

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

An Englishman living in Zambia has been forced to leave the country for good after details of his civil partnership in the UK generated a storm of controversy.

Andrew Anthony entered into a civil partnership with his partner of 25 years, Markus Muller-Tenckhoff, on Saturday 29 June.

The ceremony was performed on the Isle of Wight and attended by approximately 70 guests from the UK and Germany, where Markus runs a Berlin-based city guide business.

But news of Mr Anthony’s civil partnership reached Zambia – where homosexuality remains a criminal offence. He was looking to return but now cannot.

Sentences of 14 years can be issued for those convicted of same-sex sexual activity under Zambia’s sodomy laws.

On Monday, the Zambian Watchdog website published an article about the civil partnership, sparking an outpouring of vitriol and death threats, posted online and delivered to his employers at a four star hotel in Lusaka, Zambia.

The article was illustrated by three photographs taken at the ceremony by Mr Anthony’s half-brother, which have since been removed.

The story was also published on Facebook.

As a result Mr Anthony fears he will be arrested if he returns to Lusaka.

In June, a gay couple in Zambia went on trial charged with violating the country’s sodomy laws.