Malawi gay couple faces harsh jail sentence for getting engaged
I’m still amazed any rational, intelligent person can doubt as to whether or not religion still causes all sorts of harm in this world. I think the problem is few people actually bother to find out what is going on in parts of the world where religious fundamentalism is still prominent. There are countries around the world where the toxic effects of religion are being felt by innocent men and women. The latest story of misery and dread comes from Malawi, where two men were arrested after they took part in an engagement ceremony.
For their crime of loving one another, they face about a decade of hard labor, and considering they refuse to appologize or back down, they’ll probably end up serving the full sentence. Why are they taking a stand? Because the plight of other gays is at stake, and when countries like Uganda try and pass “kill the gays” legislation, there are some with the moral fortitude to put the wellbeing of others ahead of their own:
Gay sex is still illegal in 37 countries in Africa. A recent poll by the Pew Research Centre found that 98% of people in Cameroon, Kenya and Zambia disapprove of homosexuality. But encouraged by legal advances in South Africa, a new wave of activist movements are making a stand and pushing the boundaries in Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, Zimbabwe and other countries in ways unthinkable a generation ago. Gay and lesbian lifestyles are also much more visible.
This assertiveness is apparently being met by a ferocious backlash from religious fundamentalists and politicians determined to preserve the status quo. It has been described as a proxy war between US liberals and Christian evangelicals, both of which pour in funding and support to further their cause.
As far as religious fundies are concerned, homosexuality is an abomination, and no amount of broken lives (or in some cases, deaths) will stop them from continuing to advocate their seething hatred of gays. As far as they are concerned, their invisible sky-daddy has commanded same sex attractions are morally wrong. It doesn’t matter if someone is born that way; why would they worry about something as inconvenient as reality interfering with their beliefs? It’s never been a problem before…
(props to the Freethinker for the find)
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