Homosexuality, strategy in Malawi

african_gay_love_a_year_later_tshepo_modisane_thoba_sitholeIt appears the gay movement in Malawi is ceasing the moment: after a little kiss at a Lucius
Banda concert[1], now a courageous man in Blantyre (name withheld) has come out. We may hope this is not a desperate action of a homosexual man driven to madness by a homophobic environment, but gay_protest3this start of concerted efforts to bring the real situation into the open. We know that in most societies 5 to 10 per cent of the population is homosexual (depending on your definition of Uganda gay pride marchhomosexual), in Malawi government recently used a (very low) number of 1.84 per cent. Even this low estimate runs into the hundreds of thousands of people. A group too big to ignore by any democratic government. With the constitution on its side and if needed international support for human rights, this is a controversy which can b turned to the side of rights: a legal recognition that gay rights cannot be violated any longer. And the longer the anti gay lobby gets the oportunity to vent its propaganda, the more they can dominate the highly charged debate. The wording of the man in Blantyre was a bit gaysouthafricaunfortunate: “Government should give us rights” instead of “Government must recognize our rights.” There is no such thing as a referendum on facts. You cannot have a referendum on the question whether the earth revolves around the sun, or the sun revolves around the earth. Even though the church has long denied the fact that the earth revolves around the sun, and any outcome of a hypothetical referendum, facts is fact: the earth revolves around the sun, and gay rights are human rights.


If the strategy has not been developed yet, the Cedep and its allies in Malawi and the world must move quickly now to coordinate their efforts. Both the national and international environment are advantageous at the moment: the government of Malawi has just confirmed its moratorium on the colonial anti-gay law, and its support for the Constitutional Rights of Malawians including homosexuals. The biggest donor of Malawi at the moment, the USA, has a liberal government that has shown its support for human rights, including gay rights. This may change a little if a conservative republican (or the joker Donald Trump) are elected later this year. The USA do always pay lip service to human rights, but their support on the ground is variable. The Europeans including the British are in support of gay rights, even the conservatives there have moved slowly to this position, and they are not going to reverse this. Infact, you see that every developed region develops support for gay rights. IN the US the opposition against gay rights is waning, and retreating to the least developed sections of the country (the “heartland” of the deep South , where racism has always been most pervasive, and the mid-west. These are the least educated areas of the US, while the more developed sections of the country, the east coast and the west coast, have long supported gay rights.

Uganda Gay Pride

So apparently the courageous people in the gay rights movement in Malawi have decided it is now or never. Let’s support their efforts, and move Malawi into the community of more developed countries.

[1] Pope Francis, as the head of the Catholic church has asked of homosexuals: Who am I to judge? Bishop Stima of Mangochi apparently answered this question: He supported Lucius Banda in his condemnation of homosexuals. For Stima, it is not the pope who decides but Lucius Banda.

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