While we celebrate our recent victories here in the US, this Los Angeles Times article reminds us of the work still left to do around the globe:
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Malawi’s minister of justice has reportedly denied saying that the country’s law banning homosexual acts would be suspended pending a parliamentary vote on whether to decriminalize such acts.
The minister, Atty. Gen. Ralph Kasambara, said this week that despite reports to the contrary, he had not issued any statements about the suspension of the anti-homosexual law. Such a move would run against a strong current of homophobia in much of Africa, driven by traditionalists, churches and religious conservatives.
“There was no such announcement and there was no discussion about same-sex marriages,” Kasambara said, according to Malawi’s Daily Times newspaper. “Nobody talked about suspension of any provision of the penal code.”
Kasambara had been widely praised for allegedly saying at a recent conference that Malawi would suspend the law to allow for public debate and a vote in parliament. The conference, sponsored by two Malawian rights groups, the Centre for Human Rights Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for Development of People (Cedep) in Lilongwe was held to discuss ways to get a national consensus on decriminalizing homosexuality.