One member of the gay couple in Malawi arrested for holding an engagement ceremony collapsed in court and was humiliated and ridiculed by those assembled.
"A trial involving Malawi’s first married gay couple was adjourned today after
one of the accused collapsed in court and was subjected to homophobic abuse
from the public gallery. Tiwonge Chimbalanga, who has spent more than a week in one of the country’s
most congested prisons, vomited and stumbled onto the dusty court floor just
before the case was due to start. As he lay on the ground he was jeered by members of the public who had crowded
in to watch what has become a cause célèbre and a test case for gay rights
in the African nation. 'Auntie Tiwo ali ndi mimba' — or 'Auntie Tiwo is
pregnant' — people said. With no one to assist him, Mr Chimbalanga, 20, dressed with a traditional
dotted red and yellow striped wrapper around his waist and a red top,
finally managed to stand and was allowed to leave to clean himself up. A few minutes later he re-emerged with a mop and a pail to clean the vomit
from the court floor — a chore that women in Africa typically have to
perform even when they are sick."
Photo: Gay Couple in Malawi Mocked, Harassed Before Trial [tr]