Malawi backs down on legalizing gay acts

Malawi’s president will not move to decriminalize homosexuality, despite pledging to do so on taking office, citing a lack of support for such moves by the general public

Malawi backs down on legalizing gay acts
29 September 2012

Malawian President Joyce Banda has said that her country is not ready to decriminalize homosexuality despite pledging to do so on taking office.

Banda told the Associated Press that the people of Malawi were not yet ready to take such a step.

‘Anyone who has listened to the debate in Malawi realizes that Malawians are not ready to deal with that right now,’ Banda told the Associated Press’ David Stringer in New York on Wednesday after addressing the United Nations general assembly.

‘I as a leader have no right to influence how people feel.’

‘Where Malawi is and most African countries are, is maybe where America or the UK were about 100 years ago … The best thing the world can do is to allow each country to take its course, to allow each country to have that debate freely without the pressure of being pushed.’

Banda warned that pushing too hard for change could create a backlash.

‘We have seen countries where homosexuals have been killed,’ Banda said.

‘Why? Because, in my view, the country … wasn’t ready.’

Since pledging to decriminalize homosexuality in her first State of the Nation speech in May Banda has been attacked by Opposition MPs on the issue who have accused her of being out of step with the Malawian people.

Malawi currently punishes sex between men with up to 14 years imprisonment.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Urgent memo to Republicans: go secular or die

Ditch the racist, homophobic, creationist, climate change-denying dominionists: inclusive, secular conservatism is the only option for Grand Old Party, says Adrian Tippetts
No thumbnail available

US urges India to end anti-gay discrimination

Senior official says culture is no excuse for denying human rights
No thumbnail available

Ladyhawke marries actress Madeleine Sami

Neither bride wears a dress
No thumbnail available

Hong Kong singer comes out during concert

Anthony Wong, one half of Tat Ming Pair, came out during reunion concert in Hong Kong
No thumbnail available

Trailblazer: Ana Matronic – 'I'm going to Dublin for Saint Patrick's Day. Pray for my liver!'

The Scissor Sister on her life in travel – from romantic trips to Belize with her husband to performing at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Germany
No thumbnail available

Gabriel Mann talks about his sexy role on ABC's Revenge

Actor tells GSN he relishes his character's fluid sexuality
No thumbnail available

Vito Russo documentary premieres on HBO

Film historian and activist spent decades at the center of battles for LGBT equality and against AIDS
No thumbnail available

Zach Braff offers to cater same-sex weddings in Indiana

Braff and his former Scrubs co-star have come out in support of Indiana's LGBTI community
No thumbnail available

Johnny Weir refuses to disappoint in his costume for a Super Bowl pre-game show

The figure skater out shines his co-host, Tara Lipinski
No thumbnail available

Philippine police fine with gay cops

The Philippine National Police says it is open to recruiting gays into its ranks