Archive | May 29, 2010

State Backs Off

Good news – as far as it goes – for civil liberties in Malawi, as their president has (reluctantly) pardoned a same-sex couple, Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, who’d been sentenced to 14 years of prison for their role in the country’s “first recorded public activity for homosexuals.”

The pressure of world opinion has obviously had its much-needed effect. But the pressure needs to be kept up until such arrests actually stop happening, rather than merely being undone after the fact.

(The Malawi president – who continued to condemn homosexuality as “evil” even as he was issuing the pardon, explained that homosexuality is “unheard of in Malawi,” and something “we Malawians just do not do” – which you’d think would obviate the need for such laws in Malawi anyway. As well as in Scotland, of course.)

Addendum: The content of the NY Times article I linked to has changed even as I was writing this post; some of the phrasing I quoted has mysteriously been removed.

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