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Malawi's President Vows to Repeal Ban on Homosexual Acts

Malawi's new President Joyce Banda says she will take steps to alleviate oppression of gays and lesbians in that country, vowing to repeal a ban on homosexual acts, the AP reports:

BandaPresident Joyce Banda’s announcement during her first state of the nation address Friday is one of several steps she has taken that break with the administration of her predecessor, Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in office in April.

Malawi had faced international condemnation for the conviction and 14-year prison sentences given to two men in 2010, who had been arrested after celebrating their engagement and were charged with unnatural acts and gross indecency.

In 2010, Mutharika officially pardoned Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, the gay couple who had been sentenced to 14 years of hard labor under sodomy and indecency laws. You may remember that they were originally arrested after holding a public wedding ceremony in December 2009.


Uganda, Ghana, Malawi Push Back at UK Threat to Cut Aid Over Laws Which Criminalize Homosexuality

Several African nations are responding with anger after UK Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to slash one type of bilateral aid known as general budget support to countries that refuse to reform laws which criminalize homosexuality.

CameronMr Cameron said he had spoken with "a number of African countries" and that more pressure had been applied by Foreign Secretary William Hague, who deputised for him during parts of the summit. Some 41 nations within the 54-member Commonwealth have laws banning homosexuality. Many of these laws are a legacy of British Empire laws.

From the Nyasa Times:

Malawi government spokesperson Patricia Kaliati said it was “unfortunate” for Britain to have “pro-gay strings” to aid. She said homosexual acts are illegal in Malawi and noted that these laws are a legacy of British rule...MCC chairperson Bishop Dr. Joseph Bvumbwe,  Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) chairperson the Reverend Dr Lazarus Chakwera  and Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) secretary Father George Buleya told reporters in Lilongwe that they were not happy with UK position on gay rights. Bvumbwe said British Prime Minister’s statements were 'unfortunate'  and they they regard them as 'unacceptable and provocative.'"

TettehGhana responds

(Ghana’s Trade and Industry Minister, Ms Hannah) Tetteh insists same sex relationships are unacceptable in African cultural set-ups and no amount of threats would make Ghana kowtow to UK’s threat. Interacting with a section of the media in Accra on Tuesday, Ms Tetteh stated that the western world has no right to force its cultural and moral orientations on Ghana and that the government will make its stance clear at the appropriate time. 'Every society has its norms and what it considers to be acceptable,' she said. 'In the Western world it is acceptable to have gay relationships and even move on to the next level to gay marriages, in our society it is unacceptable.'"

Uganda responds:

(Ugandan presidential adviser John) Nagenda accused Mr Cameron of showing an "ex-colonial mentality" and of treating Ugandans "like children". "Uganda is, if you remember, a sovereign state and we are tired of being given these lectures by people," he told the BBC's Newshour programme. "If they must take their money, so be it."...Mr Nagenda said he doubted that the Ugandan parliament would ever approve a bill which proposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts. "I believe it will die a natural death. But this kind of ex-colonial mentality of saying: 'You do this or I withdraw my aid' will definitely make people extremely uncomfortable with being treated like children," Mr Nagenda said.

Said Cameron: "This is an issue where we are pushing for movement, we are prepared to put some money behind what we believe. But I'm afraid that you can't expect countries to change overnight. Britain is one of the premier aid givers in the world. We want to see countries that receive our aid adhering to proper human rights. We are saying that is one of the things that determines our aid policy, and there have been particularly bad examples where we have taken action."


News: Prince Harry, Ricky Martin, Presbyterian Church, Madonna

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Harry  road Prince Harry graces the cover of GQ UK.

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 road NYC promoter Dougie Meyer was the victim of a hate crime Friday night: “…got the living shit beat out of me tonite [sic] when 3 black men jumped me for being gay. Their exact words were “fuck you, you fucking faggot!”

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Shrekfish

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Update On Steven Monjeza And Tiwonge Chimbalanga

The last we heard of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, the gay couple had broken up and  Monjeza had suddenly become engaged to a woman named Dorothy Gulo just a week after their release from prison was ordered by Malawai President Bingu wa Mutharika. 

6a00d8341c730253ef013483830707970c The Nyasa Times sheds new light on Ms. Gulo:

When Nyasa Times tried to find out about Monjeza’s new sweet heart, it was discovered that she is a prostitute (hooker) who stays in a one roomed apartment behind one of the bars in Chirimba. “Actually the two met at a drinking joint because Steve is an alcoholic,” said (a neighbor). Monjeza’s sister refused to speak to the media but said apart from what the papers said about the new love, there is nothing that the family know about Dorothy. The sister said she feels sorry for Monjeza who she described as a shame to her family.

Meanwhile a gay activist who worked hard to get the couple released while they were incarcerated has spoken out and claims that a re-arrest of the couple is not entirely out of the question.

According to Modern Ghana:

“The couple had been subjected to many death threats and the government had also threatened to re-arrest them if they got back together,” said the London-based human rights campaigner Mr Peter Tatchell, who also doubles as a spokesman for the LGBT rights group OutRage! During the couple's five (5) months incarceration in Chichiri Prison, Mr Tatchell supported and campaigned for their release.

“The pressure has got to Steven. Very understandably, he wants a quit, safe life. This would not be possible if he remained with Tiwonge,” said Mr Tatchell, adding that: “Both would be at risk of violent attack. Some people have threatened to kill them.” He added: “I respect their decision to split. It is up to them.”


Report: Malawi Couple Break Up — Monjeza to Marry a Woman

A sad state of affairs in Malawi. This is what must apparently happen for these men to survive.

Nyasa Times reports: Malawi  

"Steven Monjeza has dumped Tiwonge Chimbalanga –Aunt Tiwo- who he engaged in the first Malawi gay ceremony that earned them a 14 years imprisonment for homosexuality. They were pardoned by President Bingu wa Mutharika after conceding international pressure. But according to The Nation newspaper, Malawi’s authoritative daily; Monjeza has found a woman, Dorothy Gulo, 24, to marry and claims he was forced into the ‘gay drama’. The man has said he will expose the people that allegedly forced him into the gay act if they continue to pester him. The paper reports that Monjeza alleges that he never had sex with his fellow man, Tiwonge."

Monjeza claims he was forced to hold a news conference: "We were pardoned but I know the law can bounce back on us if we are not careful. Although I claimed that I still love Tiwo, I did not mean it. I have never had sex with him as was revealed in court. That is why the medical examination failed to establish any anal penetration. I was coerced into the whole thing,@ The Nation quoted him.  They forcefully picked me from my house in Kameza when I was drunk. They bundled me into their car and said they were taking me for a drink. Indeed, I was treated to a drinking orgy throughout the journey but no one revealed where we were going until I reached a house in Lilongwe to find Tiwo.  He told me that there are many countries willing to take us but I told him I was not interested and would not go."

The Africa Review: "In dramatic turn of events, one of Malawi's pardoned gays Steven Monjeza has renounced his love for Tiwonge Chimbalanga and has since opted to marry a woman, Ms Dorothy Gulo, barely 10 days after being pardoned."

(via box turtle bulletin)


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