Sunday, May 30, 2010

Gay Malawi Couple Is Pardoned by President, to be Released Tomorrow

     Here is some shocking good news!  Yesterday, President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi pardoned Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga.  He did so under pressure from UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon, who is visiting the nation, and Sir Elton John.

     Last week, the Malawi couple was sentenced to the maximum sentence of fourteen years in prison for their crime of having an engagement ceremony.  Hopefully, when they are released, they will be well protected.  They have been in custody since December.

     Mr Ban hailed the president's decision as "courageous." "This outdated penal code should be reformed wherever it may exist," he said. The BBC's Karen Allen, in Lilongwe, says Mr Ban is trying to put pressure on parliamentarians to reform anti-homosexuality laws that date back to colonial times.
     Correspondents say Malawi is a deeply conservative society where religious leaders equate same-sex liaisons with Satanism.
     Mr Mutharika, who has in the past dismissed homosexuality as alien, said he had set them free on humanitarian grounds. "In all aspects of reasoning, in all aspects of human understanding, these two gay boys were wrong - totally wrong," he said after meeting Mr Ban. "However, now that they have been sentenced, I as the president of this country have the powers to pronounce on them and therefore, I have decided that with effect from today, they are pardoned and they will be released."
     Translation: I think they are still satanic, but I didn't want to lose my funding.

     Still, we'll take it as a victory against the Gospel According to Hate.  Let's hope that this is a sign of much needed change in a part of the world, where so many nations still outlaw homosexuality.

(Image from JoeMyGod)