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IMF and Britain announce aid to Malawi after plans to legalise homosexuality

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  1. Excellent! I hope this will encourage other African countries to decriminalise as well. I won’t hold my breath though…well done Ms Banda.

    1. I think its excellent news too. Other African leaders can see that there is a tangible benefit from doing the right thing. Public opinion is largely against gay people in these countries because of misinformation – this may encourage those governments to discourage such information and bring about changes in culture and public opinion

  2. A step in the right direction, although it is sad that it was the reduction in aid for them to consider reviewing the law.

    A step in the right direction none the less :-)

  3. Call me cynical, but I would want to see what measures would be put in place to protect LGBT folk. It’s one thing to repeal an unjust law, but will it be a case where gays and lesbians still get trounced by “upstanding” citizens and the authorities just look the other way?

  4. It will be interesting to see if any other countries pay heed.

  5. This is a good step, and I’d like to think that it’s about doing the right thing rather than just about getting aid.

    It won’t change things overnight for LGBT people in Malawi, but it’s the first step and it won’t stop with this. Equality for LGBT people in Malawi will continue to prgoress once these laws have been repealed. Maybe very slowly, but it will progress.

    Let’s hope it will start an equality revolution throughout the rest of Africa!

  6. Joyce Banda has a strong history of seeking to support human rights and equality.

    So, whilst it would be naive to suggest that the aid issue was not a link – it clearly is a strong link – it is not the only issue. She supports equality.

    Good to see the UK and IMF acknowledging this, although we should do so with caution – to ensure the plans Joyce Banda has discussed are carried out and then further progress made.

    1. Stu, if nobody minds me going off topic for a moment, here’s a very interesting story on the Scotsman website:

      http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/majority-of-msps-back-gay-marriage-1-2347427

      I’ve e-mailed PN to let them know and hopefully they’ll report it. But I just wanted to let you know about it, Stu.

      1. By the way, Stu, my advice is to avoid the comments on the Scotsman website, they make the Daily Mail look like Pink News!

        1. I read it occasionally but only rarely, for that very reason!

          Seems PN have got your email – there is now a story up!

        2. Hey BennieM

          Seems our “fans” are thumbing us down again!

          1. Yes, they’ve been doing it all day, on the Lynne Featherstone opinion piece and they’ve been doing it to me on the MSPs in favour of marriage equality story too – in fact, I left a comment correcting a small error in the story which said there were 68 SNP MSPs when there are actually 67, and it was thumbed down within minutes! I bet the person who did it didn’t even read my comment, just saw my name and clicked because I really can’t see how anyone can object to that!

            I guess it shows they can’t think of anything to say in reply to us so just thumb us down instead!

      2. Thanks BennieM

        Interesting article – its worth bearing in mind that of the 60 not declaring their intentions – some more may well be in support of equality.

        I hope PN do run the story – it deserves prominence!

        The Catholic church resort to demanding for a referendum on civil rights when they know that the usual democratic means will result in fairness and prevent them denying integrity, equality and fairness for LGBT people.

        Some would ask whether they would like it if a referendum were held on whether RC church leaders should be free to seek to interfere in civil law – most people (I suspect) would vote no. Or, a referendum on whether the church should be sanctioned for its failrues to deal with child abuse and cover ups – or a referendum on whether the church should pay tax?

        Referendums should not be held on issues of civil rights – its appallingly abhorrent and immoral.

        I noticed this week that homophobe MSP Bill Walker was arrested this week. He still refuses to resign

  7. Jock S. Trap 10 Jun 2012, 2:17pm

    Excellent to see progress being made, however exactly where is the UK money coming from? Bet it’s not the Bankers!

  8. PN should know better before spreading stories about state sponsored extortion practices. As if Malawi has suddenly become a beacon for Human Rights, and if Malawians are stupid to believe this money has been released because of LGBT rights. And when it is the case, it should also mention if the money is going to be strictly spent in securing/advancing LGBT rights in the country. Otherwise this is pure DM style speculation, It shows a myopic view of the World. Take a leaf out of the NAACP book, and start noticing other human rights violations.

    1. GingerlyColors 10 Jun 2012, 7:39pm

      Of course gay people are not the only ones whose rights are being violated in those countries. Women often suffer discrimination although Malawi obviously has made progress in that field by having Joyce Banda as president. There are the rights of tribal minorities that need to be addressed, of course and those of religious groups.
      These countries need to sort out all human rights issues across the board, not just LGBT rights. Sometimes throwing money at a problem isn’t the answer and should Britain increase it’s foreign aid to a country just because it improves LGBT rights, then other minority groups in that country will become resentful if their problems are not addressed and they end up neglected.

      1. What this story as a few others on PN are subtly trying to imply is that state sponsored extortion and other coercitive methods produce positive results, instead it produces further resentment … Does PN have any evidence that the increase in aid has been announced BECAUSE OF the present prospects of gay rights in Malawi?

  9. GingerlyColors 10 Jun 2012, 7:31pm

    Is the Dark Continent just about to become a little less homophobic? I believe that Joyce Banda, like Jamaica’s Portia Simpson are sincere about taking their nations into the 21st Centuary but at this point I am not counting my chickens.
    I have been acused of being patronising (yes, James!) for suggesting that these leaders should refer to the Wolfenden Report (which can be Googled on line) but while winning over the politicians is one thing, the public has to be wooed as well. It is easy for these women to find themselves voted out on their ear by a hostile public should they decriminalise homosexuality. I am not asking for gay pride marches and marriage equality in those countries just yet but the basic step of removing the risk of arrest and a criminal record should be made. Hopefully Malawi could spur Kenya and Botswana into striking down their outdated laws which has already been mentioned there.

  10. While LGBT is struggling elsewhere across the world, it’s nice to see the gay folks in Malawi will now have the opportunity to live a better life. I wish this brave woman good luck. Gays worldwide, unite and rejoice for justice.

  11. Good news, although let’s hope that decriminalisation is only the start of a string of human rights improvements for LGBT people in the country that will take them up to the same level as South Africa.

  12. When I first read this I thought ‘Hang on a second, repeal it first, then the aid money will come to you.’, but then I remembered articles I’ve read about Malawi in the last year and this course of action is completely justified.

    Joyce Banda has taken power in very turbulent circumstances and is well-liked by the people but not well-liked by the establishment. Stopping the Malawian economy from crashing and burning, and giving Joe Blogs a better life, will increase the chances of her actually staying in power long enough to enact these reforms for Malawian LGBT.

  13. Dennis Velco 10 Jun 2012, 11:45pm

    Thanks for your reporting on this.
    I posted it to my LGBT Group on LinkedIn and also made a comment there to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup.

    Link to group >> http://www.linkedin.com/groups/LGBT-Gay-GLBT-Professional-Network-63687/about

    All LGBT+ and community allies…. please come join me and 14,000 of your soon to be great friends on LinkedIn. The member base represents 80% of the world’s countries.

    It is strictly professional office friendly dialog, posting and profiles / profile images. I’ve been told by many that it may well be one of the best run / managed groups on LinkedIn. It even has several LinkedIn top executives as members.

    You can be as out or private as you like and I provide instructions on how to set those preferences (In the Manager’s Choice area).
    EVERY new member is placed automatically and systematically on a temporary 100% moderation

  14. Excellent progress, however I am more than a little cynical.

    I fear that there could be back tracking now that aid has been promised and I feel that it should be held back until some of the laws are changed in terms of human rights and LGBT rights first.

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