Homophobia is incredibly rampant throughout the continent of Africa. As evidenced by the ‘Kill the gays’ bill in Uganda, the lives of LGBT citizens are incredibly precarious around the world. A similar case of legal persecution has surfaced in Malawi, where a Judge has convicted a gay couple of indecency for conducting a public ceremony celebrating their engagement to one another. That’s right folks; two men face years of prison time for publicly expressing their love to one another. Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, both in their twenties, were arrested a day after they celebrated their engagement with a party.
Undule Mwakasungula, a gay rights activist in Malawi, said the couple’s decision to declare their relationship with an engagement ceremony appears to have been personal, not political. Others have been prosecuted under the law but this case was different because the two men were open about their homosexuality, Mwakasungula said.
The couple were convicted of unnatural acts and gross indecency under laws dating from the colonial era. Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa said the sentencing will take place on Thursday and they could be imprisoned for up to 14 years. [Read more...]