Malawi President Peter Mutharika has said the country will go to a national vote for ‘yes or no’ in a referendum to decide whether same-sex relations should be legal and the issue of legalising abortion.
Calls for legalising same-sex marriage have received resistance in conservative southern African nation.
But speaking in a special programme on tax-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) television, President Mutharika hinted that his government will resort to call for a referendum for the citizens to give their vote.
Many religious leaders are against same-sex liaisons as they regard marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman.
But minority rights activists call for faith community to take a “reality check” and not move into denial of the realities as there is social revolution worldwide.
Renowned gay rights campaigner, Gift Trapence said its high time Malawians remove all prejudice, discrimination and hate crime on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter-sex (LGBTI) people.
Trapence noted cases of homophobia in Malawi, saying gays are being “harassed, threatened and even physically assaulted simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Further, he argued that there is “good evidence that the HIV epidemic hits harder where anti-gay laws and prejudice exist. Voices of reason and goodwill must speak out against this hatred and irrationality.”
Same-sex marriage is now legal in 20 countries worldwide