The families of two Ugandan men living in Sweden, who claim they are the first gay couple from their country to get married, have been harassed over the couple’s marriage.

Lawrence Kaala and Jimmy Sserwadda were married in January at a church in Järfälla, a suburb north of the Swedish capital, Stockholm.

Mr Sserwadda’s elderly mother, who still lives in Uganda, was verbally harassed over the news that her son had married another man.

“They basically blamed me being gay and me bringing shame on Uganda on her,” Mr Sserwadda told Swedish paper The Local.

“I really don’t understand it. These people say they are against gays because of religion, culture and ‘African Values’. Some even said Europeans politicians had paid us to bring shame to Uganda,” he said. “If we were interested in money, we would have married other people. Neither of us is well off.”

He blamed the abuse for his mother’s recent admission to hospital for high blood pressure.

Mr Sserwadda’s son, who is attending university, also received unwanted attention over the news of his father’s wedding.

“He has my picture on his wall and one day, as he walked home from a lecture, he was met by a group of students who were holding the picture and had recognised me from the headlines,” Mr Sserwadda said.

“They kept asking him if he was gay too. He said he wanted to be kept out of it.”

Mr Sserwadda said he had to arrange for a private counsellor to help his son, who felt threatened.

Despite these troubles, Mr Sserwadda said he did not regret marrying Mr Kaala: “Love has no law, no boundaries, and no restrictions. So I don’t regret what I did. One, because I love my husband. Two, because I needed to save him. Three, because this is who I am.”

The men feared that they would be separated after Mr Kaala’s asylum application was rejected. He has since reapplied, and their future still hinges on the decision of the migration board.

If his application is rejected again it would not only split the couple up, it would also put Mr Kaala’s life in danger.

The Ugandan Parliament reconvened on Tuesday following its Christmas break, with the anti-gay “Kill the Gays” bill on its “notice of business to follow”.

“I love my country, but we must change the laws that make us flee to Europe for protection,” said Mr Sserwadda.