Monday 19 February 2018

Gay couple face 14 years in jail after civil marriage

TWO gay men may be sentenced to up to 14 years in jail with hard labour today for holding a traditional civil marriage ceremony in Malawi, one of Africa's most conservative states.

Steve Monjeza (26) and Tiwonge Chimbalanga (20) are virtually certain to receive custodial sentences at a magistrates' court in Blantyre, the capital, despite pressure from supporters who will be protesting outside the London offices of the Commonwealth.

They became the first homosexual couple to go public in a country where the gay movement is gaining in confidence, thanks to international backing, much to the dismay of conservatives who see the development as a Western ploy to undermine morals.

The men have little local support in a region of fundamentalist Christian beliefs. (© The Times, London)

Irish Independent

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