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Malawi’s leading Christian group wants referendum affirming anti-gay laws

Sunday, February 2, 2014

LILONGWE, Malawi — The Malawi Council of Churches (MCC), the country’s leading Christian organization, is demanding that the government hold a referendum on Malawi’s harsh anti-gay laws, confident that Malawians will send a message reaffirming their opposition to any effort to decriminalize homosexuality in the African nation.

MalawiMCC’s call comes as the United Nations’ AIDS (UNAIDS) task force and human rights groups recently announced that they are launching a High Court battle against Malawi’s laws criminalizing gay sex.

The country’s High Court is currently considering an appeal, backed by UNAIDS, of the conviction of three men who are serving jail terms for engaging in gay sex.

Malawi’s strict anti-homosexuality laws imposes prison terms of up to 14 years for engaging in homosexual behavior, which can also be accompanied by corporal punishment.

In addition, there are three other laws for related offenses, including an attempt at gay sex, gross indecency, and sex between two women — each with punishments ranging between five to seven years imprisonment, with or without corporal punishment.

UNAIDS argued that the Malawi’s anti-gay laws “infringe upon human rights, undermine the effectiveness of HIV programs” by stopping locals from accessing preventative measures and causing epidemic proportion of infection rates.

MCC leaders, however, dismissed the arguments, saying the HIV infection rates cannot be used as a justification to legalize same-sex acts.

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The country’s spiritual leaders have dubbed being gay as a “bondage” that is against God, and alien to the country’s culture, belief’s and traditions.

“Forcing homosexuality amongst Malawians is not only wrong, but also continues to deny the Malawian people of the much important developmental needs on the expense of a few people,” MCC said, in a statement. “The majority of Malawians do not subscribe to homosexual liaisons… We are a sovereign and we are a God-fearing nation that must be respected with its laws and traditions.”

Some Western countries have threatened to withdraw financial aid to Malawi if the country fails to decriminalize homosexuality, saying they contravene basic human rights and hamper preventative measures against HIV infection.

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34 more reader comments:

  1. and where exactly is this dirt heap? and what purpose does it serve the world?

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:12pm
  2. This is the same country Madonna adopted her two African Children? It would be interesting if they BOTH turn out to be gay.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:15pm
  3. Isn’t it ironic how the black people who were oppressed slave’s because of religion are now oppressing another group of people in the same way? this is why i am an atheist.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:17pm
  4. you would think so, but most previously oppressed groups turn into oppressors. like most victims they either identify with other victims or the become victimizers themselves.

    Replied on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:25pm
  5. They're just hypocritical asshole's that's it.

    Replied on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:26pm
  6. who?

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:21pm
  7. Once again funded by our USA fundies.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:25pm
  8. God bless the U.N. for fighting this bull shit

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:25pm
  9. add this backward country to the list of places NEVER to visit!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:29pm
  10. dislike

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:34pm
  11. most countries in Africa prefer to be backward looking – makes them feel superior and fixed in Medieval bible-speak – but that doesn’t make them right now – they forget that God is always moving forward like His universe

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:39pm
  12. They’ll get over it.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:42pm
  13. Funny they would give themselves the name MCC it is the church that was started for GLBT people. It still is around folk.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:47pm
  14. Good little sheep.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:49pm
  15. Religion is a drug and gays are a target of hate!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 10:50pm
  16. Evil

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:01pm
  17. The problem here is lack of real education, and any education that’s there is probably fundef by a religious (read: Christian) organization. They aren’t teaching anything of real value to these nations. Then you have hate avtovists like Lively going over there and stirring up the people into a violent frothing mob out for blood. It’s a recipe for murder, imprisonment and all around disaster. When are we going to stop allowing religions to proselytize? It must be outlawed! This is exactly what comes of religion forcing it’s views on uneducated and unsuspecting people. The religious right acts as if you canNOT be moral if you do not believe in their version of God, but the state of most African nations disagrees (as does science) with that stance. Having an outside moral authority (instead of relying on your own ideals and inner voice) makes you less sympathetic and more likely to be implacable. This makes me sad. It will take generations to undo the damage wrought by religion on the African continent. (And I’m not talking about true spiritual people — including those who identify as Christian. I’m talking about people who use God and faith to bully and hurt people.)

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:04pm
  18. Of course they want a referendum!!! How much is the fucking right-wing religious giving to Malawi on this vote? May there come a day when the religious are fed to the animals of the new leaders for not accepting the new true god.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:12pm
  19. Idiots!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:24pm
  20. Stop this hate!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:31pm
  21. Christianity..preaching hate the world over. Religion sucks.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:36pm
  22. Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:49pm
  23. They are not christian, they are nazis!

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:52pm
  24. The Christians, who proclaim and tout to be crusading for LOVE, are once again back to their old habits of proclaiming HATE instead; hate and ignorance, backwardness and primitivity.

    Posted on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at 11:58pm
  25. Boycott!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 12:05am
  26. I love how Africans claim that homosexuality is a foreign concept brought to them by European colonial powers, well so was Christianity!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 12:21am
  27. "When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land." Desmond Tutu

    Replied on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 12:22am
  28. Oh Malawi! Follow the lead of Nelson Mandela and Siuth Aftica not Zimbabwe!!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 1:59am
  29. Christian people are the most hypocritical of all the people I’ve ever met in my life. They demand that people respect their beliefs but refuse to respect others beliefs. If that isn’t the height of hypocrisy I don’t know what is. They’re also the most hateful of any group I’ve ever met…and very phony.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 3:56am
  30. With maybe one exception, the whole continent of Africa is a waste of dirt.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 5:18am
  31. Because it’s the christian thing to do, of course. God. I hate christians!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 7:01am
  32. Yeah. There go the shitheads at LGBTQ Nation. Notice how the morons, addicted to political correctness and the myth that Muzzyism is a “religion of peace,” desperately want to divert your attention from the dominant role followers of the Great Child Molester Mohammed have played in criminalizing gay sex.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 7:09am
  33. Take away ALL US money going their way. Fucking assholes.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:11am
  34. They want freedom of religion. They should call it freedom to be assholes! Religion, What a crock!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 1:06pm