Five fallacies against decriminalization of homosexuality in Malawi

In the first place, let me highlight that the arguments in this article do not attempt to establish the rationale behind legality or illegality of gay rights or advocacy thereof in Malawi, rather the intention is to facilitate an analytical broader understanding of the same.

First fallacy: Malawi is a Christian nation

Most Malawians refute decriminalization of homosexuality because it conflicts with the Christianity ideals and Biblical philosophy. This is due to rampant erroneous assumption that Malawi is a Christian nation, which is divergent to the constitution of the Republic of Malawi, which affirms freedom of religion as ones conscience dictates. The fact that Christians are in majority does not necessarily mean that we are a Christian nation. A nation does not become a “Christian state” based on statistics or population of Christians within. Malawi is a democratic Republic not a Theocracy; therefore, she does not regard the church as the supreme or ultimate power, atleast not in legal sense. The secular standing of the State necessitates the disregard of religious creed as a mechanism of constitutional legislation or amendment thereof.

Gay kiss: Soon will be no criminal offence in Malawi

Second fallacy: The UN and international community disregard sovereignty of state by imposing gay rights

The UN has indisputable mandate to summon overall collaboration and accountability of 193 sovereign states in the world on matters pertaining to human rights or abuse thereof. The UN was founded in1945 replacing the abortive League of Nations, to avert the recurrence of such abuse of human rights as occurred during world war one and two. To effect this cause, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on December 10, 1948.

According to the UN charter on Article 55, a statement provides that the UN shall “… promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.” Article 56 of the very Charter states that, “all members pledge themselves to take joint and separate action in co-operation with the Organization for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55. This therefore, establishes that all member states of the UN have legal obligation to advocate for homosexuality rights. Failure to do so creates a direct contravention of Article 56. Malawi became a member of the UN on December 1, 1964.

Third fallacy: Homosexuality does not exist

Some Malawians deprecate the very existence of the homosexuality. There are three pertinent causal factors, atleast in my contextualized discernment: first, the incidence of Steven Monjeza, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, who were arrested and sentence to 14 years in May 2010, after being found guilty of Sodomy was later claimed to have been a scam. Some people asserted that the two men were paid to ignite a constitutional evolution that would lead into decriminalization of gay rights with international funding. The second reason is that, activists that advocate for homosexuality in Malawi are not homosexuals themselves. The third reason is that most feel it is unfathomable how a normal human being would suddenly lose their magnetism towards the opposite sex.

However, Christianity acknowledges that homosexuality is a real sexual phenomenon. The Bible dates homosexuality back to 1900 BC, which is precisely 4000 years ago. The behavior is recorded as having been very prevalent in the city of Sodom. According to the Bible, it was so rampant that all men in the city, both young and old were homosexuals. The Bible reads, “Before they had gone to bed, “all” men from every part of the city of Sodom –both young and old-….where are the men that came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” Genesis 19vs4-5 NIV.

 Fourth fallacy: criminalization of Homosexuality was a religious motivated legislation

Some laws in the constitution draw perceptible harmonious parallels between Christian morals and the constitution. However, it would be total fallacy to assume that Dr Kamuzu Banda’s adoption of the Act criminalizing homosexuality from the British was a premeditated attempt to Christianize legislation. I am of the opinion that this was not a Christianity bill, therefore one can not expect its amendment or perpetuity to be a determined on Christianity or religious forums.

Fifth fallacy: The Bible is the ultimate judge over homosexuality

It is an absurd fallacy ever, to think that every human being believes in the Bible. In this regard, it is a total disregard of the secularism of the constitution should homosexuals’ rights be criminalized on Christianity grounds. There is no rationale behind judging homosexuals with the Bible, which they may not believe in. It is like forcing a Moslem or Hindu to swear over the Bible. Nonetheless, if homosexuality is a religious catastrophe, then denominations have the right to deal with it among their memberships within their jurisdiction.

My conclusion

According to Christianity, homosexuality harbors grievous transgression of God’s law and is punishable by death; Leviticus 20:13, as a Christian myself, I believe this Biblical teaching is irrefutable within its domains. However, non Christian homosexuals can not be denied their rights based on Biblical dogmas. Malawi as a secular nation that upholds democracy; where discrepancy arise as such that particular religious beliefs conflict with democratic fundamentals, democracy must prevail; because democracy is for everyone while religion is for those that espouse the respective teaching. Therefore, such a gesture as condemnation of gaysim based on Christian morals would symbolize crucifixion of democracy on the cross of Christian creeds.

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