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Malawi: New president ‘to decriminalise homosexuality’

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  1. Stuff Queer People Need To Know 18 May 2012, 4:18pm

    Yes! Take charge, strong woman!

    1. God Bless her.

  2. YOU GO GIRL!

  3. Fabulous!

    Strong move in the right direction!

    What is particularly good is that she recognises that Malawi has bad laws that need repealing and has clearly said she is determined to ensure Malawi is a fair country to be a citizen of. (from quotes made by AfricanPress)

  4. What rubbish. She’s directing that the laws be repealed because foreign aid dried up suddenly after the last fiasco – and maybe Madge and Angelina won’t be rushing to fund orphanages, schools and to adopt the excess kids of a poor country.

    Enact anti-discrimination laws that protect gays from ‘traditional’ cultural violence and then I might believe she’s had a change of heart on an issue she never raised before. And not just because of monetary concern.

    1. It has to start somehow.

    2. So, Adam

      Are you saying that we should not welcome decriminalisation?

    3. Looks like someone is a glass half empty kinda guy! x

  5. Nice to think it was a change in social beliefs but Malawi is in financial trouble and her team recently moved to restore diplomatic relations with Britain a.k.a. “help, money please.” But Cameron has tied UK foreign aid to gay rights. Maybe this is the first example of the policy working? So thanks might be misplaced in Ms Banda.

    1. But its a start to the progress of ensuring equality occurs in countries such as Malawi – a start …

      Is that not a good thing?

      1. Hey Stu, not knocking it as a bad thing at all – it’s great. Freedom to exist and be seen is the first step on a long journey to acceptance …a very long journey. I questioned if her hand might have been forced on this decision by our government and others giving aid money on condition of gay rights, proving it was a good policy – whatever means to the desired end.

        1. I agree its a good policy.

          I do think the aid/human rights policy is partly responsible for this. I think Joyce Banda is strongly in favour of human rights in any event – but the policy gave her increased urgency and impetus to move ahead and show that she is moving on it.

          1. Yeah, read some of the comments below with interest that she has a history of being a modernizer.

    2. Gay rights were tied to Eastern Europe states joining the EU.
      It is a start to the road.

    3. Sister Mary Clarence 20 May 2012, 12:29pm

      Suggests the policy might be having the desired effect in that case then. Should have tried it years ago and perhaps things wouldn’t have got quite so out of hand maybe.

      I wonder how many have needlessly suffered and died as a result of something as simple as funding caveats such as this being absent.

  6. Jesus moran 18 May 2012, 6:05pm

    Finally an African president acting like a human being enough saying!!!

  7. They should withhold aid until she does.I wouldn’t trust her as far as I could throw her – and that’s not far.

    1. Joyce Banda has a history of acting with integrity.

      She has helped other women achieve financial independence and break the cycles of abuse and poverty, having herself been a victim of domestic violence.

      Even though democratically elected as one of the Vice Presidents, the previous President tried to sack Banda (against the Malawian constitution) due to unspecified “anti-party” activities – rumours abounded in South Africa at the time that Banda and two other senior politicians in Malawi had sought to improve equality issues in Malawi for women, LGBT people and disabled people (which the President was uncertain about). Courts blocked attempts to fire her, but the President ostracised her and refused to delegate tasks to her – given them to other ministers instead. On 8 September 2011, the role of Vice President was left out in a cabinet reshuffle. However, she was still the legal Vice-President of the country as mandated by the constitution.

      When the President died and she

    2. assumed the role she stated “I want all of us to move into the future with hope and with the spirit of oneness and unity.” She has said in interviews that she seeks a fairer Malawi. A Malawi Sunday Times editorial said that the new president’s inauguration had “helped to entrench and cement a democratic culture in the country”

      She has served as commissioner for “Bridging a World Divided” alongside personalities such as Bishop Desmond Tutu, and United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, Mary Robinson. An organisation that passionately supports LGBT rights.

      I say give her a chance to prove that she can make a difference.

    3. Trust has to be earned. Knowing nothing about her political career, I am happy to give her the opportunity to earn mine, for what it’s worth. If you have convincing evidence as to why she should not be trusted, please say. However from what I can see she has already put clear blue water between herself and the likes of Mugabe and the king of Swaziland etc.

  8. In understand she quoted Desmond Tutu in an interview about plans to decriminalise homosexuality. The quote she gave was “Our world is facing problems – poverty, HIV and Aids and conflict. … God must be weeping that our Church is obsessed with questions of human sexuality. … It is a perversion if you say to me that a person chooses to be homosexual. You must be crazy to choose a way of life that exposes you to a kind of hatred.”

  9. May humanity driven and instinct driven policies of honest politicians become a contagious event in Africa!

  10. GingerlyColors 18 May 2012, 6:37pm

    Go for it and make the Dark Continent less homophobic. South Africa took the lead and it looks that other countries will follow.

  11. Well, it’s a start :)

    1. Still Malawi would be pretty backwards when it comes to LGB equality/support, even if it decriminalized sex. Being Africa, it doesn’t surpise me. Even South Africa, which has same sex marriage and all other LGB rights, isn’t that spectacular when it comes to treatment/acceptance/safety of LGBs.

    2. So – not just transphobic – but xenophobic (especially if talking about Africa)?

      1. I have nothing against Africans as people, I have an issue with the homophobia that’s rampant in Africa. In addition to the sexism and over religiousness.

        It’s a PROVEN FACT that most of Africa is homophobic. It’s no different than saying the USA Bible Belt.

        1. And I have an issue with the transphobia that’s rampant in your comments.

          1. Don’t like my comments, don’t read them. I stick up for what’s right, I’m sorry people don’t understand something as simple as gender.

          2. “Don’t like my comments, don’t read them. I stick up for what’s right, I’m sorry people don’t understand something as simple as gender.”

            You don’t understand gender it seems. You’re a bigot and a fool and yo spout hate speech on a gay site. Get some medial help.

  12. Inspector General 18 May 2012, 7:17pm

    Well done that lady. It’s the decent thing you know. But let’s hope gays there don’t go over board and start organising gay pride marches ! They tend to annoy, and we’ll be back to square one !

    1. So you support gay rights?

      1. “we’ll “?

    2. I don’t see the issue with gay pride marches as long as it’s not the over the top, barely dressed types

      1. It’s Africa, expect it.

        1. If I was marching in Africa I would think it would be too hot to wear too much!

          I would think something like this might be suitable:
          http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2012/02/08/cape-town-tourists-love-africa-s-gay-friendly-capital

          1. Love the picture, Stu – I suddenly have an urge to go on holiday to Cape Town!

          2. Cape Town is fantastic.

            One of the best places I have been to in Africa.

            This picture makes me want to go back even more ;-)

      2. LOL I don’t mean barely dressed, as in cover up, I mean don’t parade around in underwear, etc

        1. Are you prejudiced against naked people, too, now?

    3. Gay pride marches tend to annoy ? Is that why there are so incredibly well-attended, by all sections of the population ?

  13. Inspector General 18 May 2012, 7:46pm

    Stu, the Inspector supports gays in their struggle to be a part of society, with no negative issues resulting therefrom. What must be avoided at all costs is when gays seek to place themselves above others, with nefarious agendas. For their part, they must recognise that society is geared to produce the subsequent generations and is thus organised that way. Gays must find their place accordingly, but they are advised to keep a low profile. Remember, this man NOT included, many still hate you. Have had the unfortunate experience of drinking with these people. Proceed wisely…

    1. So not true equality then?

    2. Most of us don’t seek to place ourselves above others. We seek to be treated as equal.

      1. Pity you don’t feel trans people should be treated as equal. You do place yourself way above them, don’t you, Lumi?

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 18 May 2012, 8:15pm

      Not every heterosexual can reproduce. There word is alread overpopulated as it. By your deduction, infertile heterosexuals should also be barred from marriage and those childless people who decide to marry in their senior years should also find their place accordingly. As to the marital procreation nonsense, have you heard of IVF and surrogacy? Hundreds of thousands of hetero and homosexual couples participate and produce children that way.

    4. “many still hate you”

      All the more reason education will push them aside. There will always be bigots. Bigots are intellectually inferior individuals, that is established.

    5. “but they are advised to keep a low profile.”

      No can do.

      1. Not just no can do – no will do either.

        I do not believe in oppression or suppression of who I am or who anyone else is. Whether that suppression is self imposed or imposed by others.

        It is highly to the benefit of honesty, integrity and self awareness to be honest about who and what we are.

    6. What is a nefarious agenda?

      1. You should probably ask a mentalist. :)

        Isn’t that right, “Inspector”?

  14. Sometimes it takes a strong woman to do the job! Political leaders like President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina and Hillary Clinton are amongst the best of them.

  15. Inspector General 18 May 2012, 8:27pm

    Robert in SK. “By your deduction, infertile heterosexuals should also be barred from marriage and those childless people who decide to marry in their senior years should also find their place accordingly”

    Not at all. The Inspector is a middle aged bachelor, couldn’t find the right woman, you see. He’s now close to a hospital sister (…whose still in child bearing age, so we might hear the patter of the tiny child benefit yet…), but you take your chances as you get older. By the way, the churches are not denying marriage, but they’d rather you turned up with someone of the opposite sex. It’s just way it is, you have to understand it’s not discriminatory…

    1. It is discriminatory when someone is treated with less rights than another person because of their orientation.

      1. The right to get married.

      2. The right to marry the person they love.

    2. Plenty of churches want to marry gay couples. The government just won’t let them.

    3. Your sister is a nurse?
      That’s sick and illegal.

    4. It won’t be the way it is for long. Times are changing. Get used to it.

  16. Obviously I’d want steps like this to be taken because they’re the right thing to do and not because of financial reasons, likr some people suggest. I admit to knowing nothing about President Banda, her views of her motives, but any step in the right direction has got to be welcomed.

  17. President Joyce Banda is brilliant! A great president already.

  18. Inspector General 18 May 2012, 9:40pm

    Stu, define these ‘rights’. You might want to take some time over this, as the rights you believe are missing are already there for you…

    1. I know you addressed your question specifically to Stu, but I’m sure he won’t mind me joining in! How about the right to get married, for a start?

      1. A heterosexual can marry a person they love

        A homosexual can not

  19. Inspector General 18 May 2012, 10:13pm

    Types, a same sex couple CAN’T get married. It’s not right. Throughout human evolution there is not one example. Why start now, and before you answer remember this, try to avoid being silly, with reply’s like “It’s my RIGHT and I’ll cry if I can’t”. You’ll just be seen as mentalists, and rather sad…

    1. Throughout human evolution there is not one example of opposite sex marriage either, because evolution and artificial social designations don’t have much to do with one another. You may as well say throughout mosquitoes there is not one cantaloupe.

      And do you know what mentalists are? What does same sex marriage have to do with pretending to be psychic?

    2. Actually same sex couples can get married in 13 different countries currently (not the entire country in 3 cases admittedly). 56 other nations are debating same sex marriage with more than 20 likely to introduce legislation within the next 2-3 years.

      Many churches and Rabbis support same sex marriage.

      So what is not right about it?

    3. Although to clarify the most important thing on this particular thread is that President Joyce Banda is recognising the need to ensure equality and honesty for LGBT people.

    4. Many ancient civilizations (until Christian rule happened), Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Mexico City, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington DC, various Native American tribes in the US; soon to be Maryland & Washington US, Colombia, Denmark, and probably several more countries say hi :)

      There have been a lot of historical homosexual couples, and many could have been married, there’s no way of knowing how many were married just like with heterosexual couples

      So why isn’t it right to you? Two consenting adults not related are getting married, there’s nothing wrong with that, and besides the genders, there’s no difference from heterosexual marriage

      Homosexual couples are perfectly capable of marriage.

      1. Here in the US this is the law

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

        No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

        1. Give it a rest bigot, no one here wants to hear a bigot demand rights over another.

    5. Its actually more like

      Inspector General and others saying

      “I know other countries are letting gay people marry – I dont like it – I dont want you to – and I’ll cry if they let you in England”

      Well, buster its going to happen – you undoubtedly will make a lot of noise about it. Its not going to stop what is right happening and your bigotry having any influence will be thrown into history.

      The days of your attitudes having any relevance or credibility are almost over. Hallelujah!

    6. “try to avoid being silly” the idiot says.

      Well, for starters, a “mentalist” is a performing art in which its practitioners appear to demonstrate highly developed mental or intuitive abilities. Not someone suffering form mental health issues, as you suggest.

      What’s rather sad “Inspector” is your once again demonstrate suck a disturbing lack of learning and borderline illiteracy. Its not wonder you have to beef up your nonsense comments with flowery language to camouflage it.

      And you think we should listen to you?!? LOL! Next time, try to avoid being silly.

  20. The rights we’re asking for

    -The right to have homosexual sex without punishment
    -The right to marry someone of the same gender
    -The right to not be fired for our sexual orientation
    -The right to not be denied housing for our sexual orientation
    -The right for “conversion therapy” to be condemned and illegal for those under 18
    -The right to visit our partners/spouses in the hospital
    -The right for crimes committed against us because of our orientation to be recognized as hate crimes
    -The right to be protected in prison
    -The right to sponsor our same sex spouse for citizenship
    -The right for gay men to donate blood

    1. -The right to serve in the military (some countries don’t allow that)
      -The right for the age of consent to be equal to the heterosexual age of consent
      -The right to not be discriminated against when it comes to goods and services/healthcare
      -The right to adopt children
      -The right to not be denied service/adoption from state/government funded agencies
      -The right to equal access to surrogacy

      1. The bigots back.

        1. The right of trans people not to be insulted by somebody like Lumi who ought to know better.

  21. Errr. This website seems to attract lot’s of homophobes.

    @Inspector, Separate but equal is not equal, we’ve addressed this decades ago.

  22. Woo! More of Keiths posts disappear

    Thanks you PN!

    ;-)

    1. Is that why a comment I left in reply is now appearing as an original comment? I wondered what was going on! Good on PN for not putting up with it!

      1. Thats why ;-)

        Its a frustrating effect of PN deleting posts – but one I am more than happy to put up with when they delete Keiths bile!

      2. They deleted a load of his posts yesterday,the result was all the people who posted against him looked like they were having a go at each other! lol
        When Keith came back, he had a go at himself!!
        There’s thick and there’s…..

      3. Sorry I missed the fray ! But why does he bother ?

        1. I think it’s a dominance thing maybe?
          Plus tons of homophobia.
          He reminds me of what we are fighting for and against.

        2. It was even more entertaining on another of the threads – you missed out Harry!

  23. Inspector General 19 May 2012, 5:47pm

    Homophobe no, let’s call it homo-critical. And yes, there is a lot there to be critical about. For example, not happy about gay men being allowed to give blood. With HIV/AIDS running at 1 in 7 in the UK, it’s too much of a shake of the dice. Hardly fair on the recipient, now is it, and they’re going to be weak anyway having to need the blood in the first place. Hope this isn’t your idea of equality at any price…

    1. Strange how the rate of transmission of HIV from blood products is lower in Spain than in the UK. Spain allow donations from gay men. Spain has a similar rate of infection of HIV in gay men.

      Seems your safety argument is false

    2. @Inspector General

      1. No idea where you got your figure of 1 in 7 from, it is far higher than most estimates. Please provide references to support.

      2. You imply there are no measures in place to detect donations that carry any virus: why do you think this ?

      3. There are other subpopulations in the UK that also carry elevated levels of HIV incidence. They have no prohibition placed on them for donating blood: why do you think this is, and what are your thoughts on it ?

      4. You mentioned earlier that you are a middle aged bachelor who never found the right woman. Do you think most women find potential partners attractive if they post of gay web sites ?

    3. Lets not call it homo-critical, lets call it what it is – homophobia.

  24. Inspector General 19 May 2012, 5:53pm

    From Will

    Right then class. Today we’re going to discuss syntax and grammatical errors. Several mistakes in there, who’s going to point out mistake number one ?

    1. The one your parents made?

      1. Poww, Kebang, bash. Good shot, Batman!

      2. Sister Mary Clarence 20 May 2012, 12:36pm

        That was very funny …. well done Baman

    2. “From Will”?

      1. Apparently he’s pissed at me because his command of the English language is as pathetic as his IQ…. He thinks a “mentalist” is someone who had mental health issues.

        A bigot AND stupid, what ARE the odds? :)

    3. Do you really think people are going to help you pick on Will for a couple of typos that can’t be corrected in retrospect? You’re the one whose every sentence is ill-thought out drivel.

    4. “Right then class. Today we’re going to discuss syntax and grammatical errors. Several mistakes in there, who’s going to point out mistake number one ?”

      Ah, did pointing out your fool upset you? Bless. Not to worry, its well established that the more bigoted one is, the stupider you probably are. Its not your fault really, you were born deficient.

      If you can understand the big words “Inspector”, read this http://www.livescience.com/18132-intelligence-social-conservatism-racism.html

  25. Great to see the strong leadership of Joyce Banda

    She has set up a foundation which supports women setting up businesses in Malawi, Youth work in Malawi and education of orphans in Malawi. She funded it through prize money for the Africa Award for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger, which she jointly won with Mr. Joaquin Chissano, former President of the Republic of Mozambique.

    http://www.jbfoi.org/projects.html

    She also set up:
    the National Association of Business Women (NABW), a non-profit foundation aiming to lift women out of poverty by strengthening their capacity and empowering them economically.
    The Young Women Leaders Network, a leadership development organization providing young female high school students with personal and professional skills to pursue their vision for change.
    Hunger Project in Malawi.

    She is on advisory committee of Federation of World Peace and Love

  26. If this woman is determined to make a change for the oppressed gay men in her country, I wish her all the best and good luck because I don’t think it’s gonna be easy for her to change what the society think but she got enough steel in her spine to take a stand. Bravo for that.

  27. It is a positive development. Could take a century in Africa before most countries decriminalise homosexuality. I donate for African girls to be educated which will not only lead to more women’s rights in Africa but progression for GLTBI people as well.

  28. Good for you go for it. A bit of a foreign aid money squeeze is always a great motivator. Keep on the gravy train. The rest of homophobic and anti-gay Africa will soon follow suit.

  29. Long live the queen.

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