Malawi LGBT Advocates Plan More Gay Weddings

Jim Burroway

June 2nd, 2010

Malawi’s fledgling LGBT advocacy movement is happy that President Bingu wa Mutharika pardoned Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Seven Mojeza last week, after they were convicted and sentenced to fourteen years at hard labor for “gross indecency and unnatural acts” following a traditional engagement ceremony last December. While the couple have been freed, government officials warn that they are subject to re-arrest if they are caught together. Representatives from the Malawi Gay Rights Movement plan on testing the government’s willingness to endure renewed international condemnation:

The Malawi Gay Rights Movement (Magrim) has hailed President Bingu wa Mutharika for pardoning convicted gays, Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, but says it will organise two gay weddings in the country this year to ‘see if the President is committed to promoting human rights’.

Magrim spokesperson, Wongani James Phiri, said Mutharika has show a good example to other African leaders, but added that what was remaining was to see whether he was committed to the promotion of human rights.

“Malawi has many gays; but these people are suppressed. We plan to hold two weddings this year to see if these people’s (gays and lesbians) rights will be respected. We are all Malawians,” said Phiri.

Timothy Kincaid

June 2nd, 2010

I seriously question the wisdom of that decision. Part of the reason for international support of Chimbalanga and Monjeza is because their story was not perceived as provocation but rather as heavy-handed governmental oppression.

If additional actions are seen as provocation, there may be both less international support and less willingness on the part of the president to give in to pressure.

I hope that all possible consequences of whatever they do are carefully considered.

L. Junius Brutus

June 2nd, 2010

They need to quit while they’re ahead.


June 2nd, 2010

They need to focus on decriminalizing their existence in general.

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