Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gay Couple Sentenced To 14 Years In Malawi

News24 reports that "(a) judge has sentenced a gay couple to the maximum 14 years in prison for unnatural acts and gross indecency."

The sentence includes hard labor.

Addressing the two men, magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa said:
"I will give you a scaring sentence so that the public be protected from people like you so that we are not tempted to emulate this horrendous example ...

Malawi is not ready to see its sons getting married to its sons."
Geez I wonder if Malawi is ready to step into the 21st century?

The sentence can be appealed but I don't expect that it will be overturned.

Cracking down on gay folk across the continent seems to be a priority over protecting the human rights of all.

I am disgusted by this kind of inhumane nonsense.

Just a few days ago here in the land of the faded rainbow a lesbian woman was assaulted by a man who kicked her in the crotch to "convert her" according to a media report.

This in a country where gay and lesbian rights are protected under the constitution.

And before anyone makes this into a black/African vendetta against gays and lesbians it would be prudent to note that the women who was kicked is white and so is her attacker.

Anti-gay sentiment crosses the race, gender, and class divides in South Africa and the continent in general.

Same-sex couples or relationships are considered "un-African", whatever that may mean.

Gangs of men are known to rape lesbians in an act referred to as "corrective rape".

Since 1998, 31 "lesbians have been reported murdered in homophobic attacks," according to a media report.

And these are merely the cases we know about. I fully expect that the number far exceeds what is on the books, and the number of assaults in total is not even known.

We have a long way to go. Here in the faded rainbow and on the continent in general.

Gay and lesbian rights are human rights.

No exceptions.


Image Credit

UPDATE (May 31, 2010): President Bingu wa Mutharika has decided to pardon and free the gay couple without conditions. The decision came after meeting with UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.


Erica said...

"Unnatural and gross indecency?" This is not how it's meant to be Ridi. Gay and lesbian rights is a complex issue and should be handled with care....not like this. This is nothing more than genocide. As humans (and in this case I use the term loosely)we are afraid of what we don't know and understand. Insecurities are dangerous, even deadly.

We certainly have a long way to go, but I will continue to hold faith.

Anonymous said...

you know what they say, marriage is between a man and a woman...this gay thing is gross. am not condoning the court verdict but cant people just be natural

Ridwan said...

Thanks for your comment Erica.

The state has no right to legislate what people do with their bodies.

This is a basic political principle that cuts across the divides of this issue.

Yet some folks will exempt gay and lesbian rights.

Erica it is great to 'hear' you here again ;0)


Ridwan said...

Thanks for your comment Anonymous.

I disagree about the "natural" part and see this issue as one about the rights of people to live as they please.

Many folks would assert that marriage in any context is an unnatural act.

That aside, I believe that anyone who wants to be married should do so.

This also means that same-sex couples must be afforded all the benefits of marriage in a legal sense.

These include succession rights, inheritance, adoption, among others.

The same is true for legal obligations.

My position is not a popular one in the community that claims me.

Still, I am convinced that the state has no place in legislating the context and substance of peoples personal lives.

And I include sex relations between consenting adults outside of marriage.

Peace to you,

Erica said...

@Anonymous: Who are "they" and what constitutes "they" to have the authority to inflict such injustice?

"Natural" human behavior is a preference as with anything. Your "natural" could very well be another's "unnatural."

Dade said...

"Corrective rape" --what an evil oxymoron. That is horrible.

This is a feverish world that we live in.

Ridwan said...

Thanks Erica and Dade. Thanks for weighing in and reading.

Peace to all.