Burroughs Adding Machine

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Stripping Human Rights in Malawi

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I’m horrified by the news that Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were sentenced today to 14 years of hard labor for being gay. In Malawi, homosexuality is against the law.

I’m horrified–in place of the sadness I used to feel–because the judge in Malawi who sentenced them was so vitriolic and hateful in his sentencing. Perhaps reflecting public sentiment, Judge Nyakwawa Usiwa-Usiwa said that he wanted to protect the public “from people like you”. Human rights advocates around the world have condemned the act; a U.S. State department official said that the United States was “deeply disappointed” with the conviction.

Many countries on the African continent have searing, anti-gay laws. In Uganda, the proposed law that would make homosexuality a crime punishable by death is stalled in parliament. In Nigeria, a college student was clubbed to death because he was gay. And in 36 countries in Africa, being gay is not only a social taboo, it is a crime.

Reminds me, of course, of Oscar Wilde’s sentencing to hard labor more than a century ago for the same crime. With Malawi’s legal stance on homosexuality, what are the implications for gay rights–much less human rights–for other nations in the African continent?


Filed under: africa, gay rights, social justice, , , , , , ,

One Response

  1. I’m worried that only one side of the issue is usually ventilated in fora such as these. Why does the medical/psychiatric/legal profession not consider that homosexuality is a problem? Understanding that psycho-sexual disorders have consequences, has anyone read the law review “Child Molestation and the Homosexual Movement”
    (http://www.regent.edu/news/lawreview/articles/14_2baldwin.doc ) recently?

    I suggest that the playbook on how nations should adapt to the new craze of decriminalizing behaviors formerly deemed criminal has not been written as yet. Until then, the law must be obeyed … for good reason. It is stupid to break the law … to prove the injustice of the law.

    We had previously sought to show that the African legal and social position on homosexuality and gay rights was not arbitrary or whimsical, but in fact buttressed by a tonnage of scientific and medical research … which frequently escapes the eyes and ears of gay rights activists. The most recent attempt in that effort is found at “Alissa Trotz: Using and Abusing Desmond Tutu in the Cause of Homosexuality and Transgenderism” ( http://www.scribd.com/doc/28722766/Alissa-Trotz-Using-and-Abusing-Desmond-Tutu-in-the-cause-of-Homosexuality-and-Transgenderism )

    Previously, a more comprehensive effort was exercised in compiling the evidence against gay militancy in “The case Against Pancap and the Decriminalization of Homosexuality” ( http://www.scribd.com/doc/17685588/The-Case-Against-PANCAP-and-the-Decriminalization-of-Homosexuality )

    Why are these facts ignored? Why does the medical/psychiatric profession not STILL consider that homosexuality is a problem?

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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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