Malawi debates its anti-LGBTI law, still on hold

Malawi debates its anti-LGBTI law, still on hold

For now, Malawi is abiding by the principle that fundamental human rights, including the human rights of LGBTI people, should not be jeopardized by putting them to a vote in a referendum. Janet Banda, Malawi’s solicitor general, last month said the government will conduct unspecified “public inquiries,” not a referendum, into whether the country’s anti-homosexuality … Continue reading


Jamaica: 5 reasons why gay rights vote is a bad idea

Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s new prime minister, proposes a referendum on the nation’s anti-gay buggery law. It’s the sort of idea that initially sounds appealing — just ask Malawian President Peter Mutharika — but is fundamentally flawed. Why should the human rights of a minority depend on the outcome of a majority vote? Jamaican activist Maurice … Continue reading

Africa / Faith and religion

In Malawi, the glass is half full (experimental version)

Compassionate, progressive thinking is bubbling up even in the world’s  conservative, homophobic societies. One example: Malawi in southern Africa, as evidenced in this experimental version of the article “Malawi: Judge seeks renewed gay arrests; gay man attacked.” The most prominent news in the original article is negative. The following version emphasizes positive aspects of what’s going … Continue reading


Stronger voices for LGBT rights in Malawi

By Jack Flanagan The news coming from Malawi may suggest a gradual shift in political opinion about LGBT rights. Recently, Malawian President Peter Mutharika announced through his press secretary Gerald Viola that he “wants gay rights protected,” in an interview on a local radio station. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Viola reiterated Mutharika’s message of … Continue reading


Malawi president seeks vote on marriage equality

The president of Malawi has proposed popular votes on same-sex marriage and on abortion, but no concrete steps toward such referendums have yet been announced. President Arthur Peter Mutharika made the comments Sept. 1 during a “Talk to the President” program on publicly funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC TV). His remarks came two months after … Continue reading


Malawi Law Targets LGBTI People

We re-publish here today’s news release from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) expressing serious concerns over a discriminatory Malawi law targeting LGBTI people.  Half of Malawi’s population of about 15 million live below the poverty line. (New York)—The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) today raised serious concerns about discriminatory … Continue reading


It’s official: No more Malawi arrests under anti-gay laws

Malawi has stopped arresting people for same-sex intimacy pending a review of the country’s anti-gay laws, Malawi’s justice minister told the U.N. Human Rights Committee last week. The latest moratorium is related to last fall’s move by the country’s High Court to review the constitutionality of Malawi’s anti-gay laws.  The court invited government agencies, religious … Continue reading


3 in Malawi prisons await ruling on sodomy law

Powerful figures in Malawi are battling in court over whether the country’s law against homosexual activity should be repealed. Malawian human rights activists argue that the law that criminalizes homosexual behavior (Section 153) is unconstitutional and in violation of  Malawi’s legal protections for citizens regardless of their sex, race, tribe or religion. The focus of … Continue reading