Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

November-12-12

Malawi Backtracks on Suspended Criminalization of Homosexuality

Last Wednesday, Malawian Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara backtracked on his announcement that Malawi intends to suspend criminalization of homosexuality. His initial announcement was supported by the international community, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Kasambara's reversal comes after his initial announcement sparked internal conflict in Malawi.

In his most recent statement Kasambara said, "There was no such announcement and there was no discussion about same-sex marriages." In a later interview he maintained, "Nobody talked about suspension of any provision of the penal code."

Earlier, a Malawian law against homosexuality had reportedly been suspended and the police had been ordered to stop arresting gay people pending a decision by parliament as to whether to repeal the law. Repeal of the criminalization of homosexuality would have faced public debate and a parliamentary vote. In an earlier explanation of the suspension of the law while it was debated, Kasambara reportedly said: "If we continue arresting and prosecuting people based on the said laws and later such laws are found to be unconstitutional it would be an embarrassment to government. It is better to let one criminal get away with it rather than throw a lot of innocent people in jail."

LGBTQ Nation reports that a number of influential Protestant churches expressed discontent and "forc[ed] the government to reverse its position and deny examining making possible changes". According to Malawian law experts, Dunstain Mwaungulu and Gift Mwakhwawa, only the Parliament is permitted to suspend a law.

Homosexuality is currently banned 70 countries worldwide, including 36 in Africa, and is punishable by death in five countries.

Media Resources: Amnesty International 11/05/12, Feminist Newswire 11/05/12, Human Rights Watch 11/06/12, The Daily Times 11/07/12, LA Times 11/08/12, LGBTQ Nation 11/08/12, Queerty Blog 11/09/12


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

4/18/2014 Texas Hospitals Revoke Admitting Privileges to Abortion Providers - Reproductive health access in Texas continues to vanish in the wake of HB 2, the omnibus anti-abortion bill that, among other things, requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges in order to keep their clinics open. . . .
 
4/18/2014 Dartmouth President Calls For Changes In Wake of Federal Sexual Assault Investigation - Dartmouth College President Phil Hanlon gave a powerful speech Wednesday night calling for significant changes on campus in light of its high rates of sexual assault, high-risk drinking, and discriminatory social scene. "Darmouth's promise is being hijacked by high-risk and harmful behaviors, behaviors that are hurting too many of our students, dividing us as a community and distracting from our important work of teaching and learning," Hanlon said. . . .
 
4/17/2014 Federal Court Permanently Blocks North Dakota's Extreme 6-Week Abortion Ban - A federal district court permanently blocked one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation yesterday, calling it "invalid and unconstitutional." The North Dakota law, HB 1456, directly challenged Roe v. . . .