Friday, May 21, 2010

Gay Malawi Couple Gets Maximum Jail Sentence

     A very sad day in Malawi for human rights.

     A judge in Malawi has imposed a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison with hard labour on a gay couple convicted of gross indecency and unnatural acts.  The judge said he wanted to protect the public from "people like you".
     Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, have been in jail since they were arrested in December after holding an engagement ceremony.   The case has sparked international condemnation and a debate about homosexuality in the country.
     The case has ignited debate over homosexuality in Malawi, a conservative country where religious leaders equate same-sex liaisons with Satanism.
     The Guardian reports:
     Peter Tatchell, the veteran British gay rights campaigner, has maintained contact with the pair at the maximum security Chichiri prison...Tatchell told the Guardian he received a defiant message from Chimbalanga that said: "I love Steven so much. If people or the world cannot give me the chance and freedom to continue living with him as my lover, then I am better off to die here in prison. Freedom without him is useless and meaningless."
Look at the smiling faces in the crowd.
They are 55% Protestant , 20% Roman Catholic , 20% Muslim.
What happened to love thy neighbor?