A trial date has been set for Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, the gay Malawian couple who were arrested in December last year for performing an engagement ceremony and who are still held in a maximum security prison in that country ever since.
They have been denied bail twice since their arrest for ‘indecent practices between males’ and ‘unnatural offences’. Yes, getting engaged to someone of the same sex in Malazi is considered indecent. Please cover the kids’ eyes.
Besides being arrested and imprisoned for over 3 months they have also been subjected to humiliating physical checks like anal examinations to confirm sodomy charges as well as assault. Authorities claim they are still being incarcerated for their own safety. It is good to know the Malawian authorities take the safety of homosexuals seriously. I suppose they will be found guilty in the end and imprisoned for the maximum sentence in Malawi for homosexual acts of 14 years, also for their own safety.
The Protestant churches in Malawi would certainly be in favor of keeping them in prison for 14 years or longer. They’ve been urging the government to stick to their ban on homosexuality saying "We hold homosexual acts and practices as un-Christian. We do not condone homosexuality. The government should not be forced to legalize alien ideas and recognize gays.” (whole article at News24.com)
In other news, the church is also urging the government to criminalizing Christianity in the country as it is also alien and un-African and once that’s over and done with they will embark on a mission to rid the country of all ethnicities and cultures not completely indigenous to Malawi. (not really, but makes sense doesn’t it?)
Think of Steven and Tiwonge and all other gay and lesbian Malawians on April 3 when the case will continue. We can only hope they will be granted bail and that they will win their case against the State and clear the way for more equal rights in that country.
* The image here of the couple breaks my heart, handcuffed together with the public sneering and jeering in the immediate background, it’s just too sad.
** While I’m on the topic- anybody heard about this fuckery in the state of Mississippi?