Same sex marriages to be decided by Malawi citizens — Chakwera

Presidential press secretary Brian Banda has said  President Lazarus Chakwera has no clear stand on legalization of same-sex marriages and has left the issue to the country’s citizens  to determine whether to legalise it or not.

Chakwera: Malawians hold the fate of same-sex rights

Banda also told the media during the Weekly Brief at Sanjika Palace  in Blantyre on Mondaythat the issue was same-sex marriages was an outstanding  point of debate and would  leave it to Malawians to decide on how the country should handle the matter.

“What we need to do is to discuss as a country on the way forward. What is it that we want? We should not leave this issue to the President alone to decide, “ said Banda as he was responding to a question from a journalist on the matter.

He said President Chakwera, an ordained pastor,  was ready to listen to diverse opinions on the contentious issue from both in support or against the legalisation for the country to find a position on how to deal with it.

However, while welcoming the idea, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) National Coordinator Luke Tembo, argues that the President has to provide leadership in terms of how the issue should be handled.

A network of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) in Malawi argue that the law should allow same-sex marriages, and, more generally, that marriage should be available to couples regardless of their genders.

“Put simply, equality means making the same choices available to all and thats prospering together,” said a member of the LGBT organisation in Malawi.

Eric Sambisa, founder of LGBT+ rights group the Nyasa Rainbow Alliance said they will be ready to launch an Equality Campaign for the introduction of same-sex marriage to help reduce all forms of prejudice against LGBT people.

“Same-sex marriages will show that Malawi is ready to  embrace of diversity, equality, freedom, tolerance, respect, dignity and fairness,” said Sambisa.

He said the introduction of same-sex marriage will enhance the safety, self-esteem, health and wellbeing of LGBT people in Malawi.

According to a research which was conducted by  the South Africa-based LGBT+ rights group The Other Foundation, nearly all Malawians think LGBT+ human rights should be protected, yet the same number could not accept a gay or lesbian family member.

Malawi criminalizes same-sex conduct, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) people often face violence, threats and discrimination, according to Human Rights Watch, a global rights group.

“For example, 80% believe that homosexual sex is wrong, but one in three believe God loves people in same-sex relationships,” said Alan Msosa, lead researcher and an academic with the University of Bergen in Norway.

“When we unpacked certain words using local languages, such as using ‘justice, fairness and inclusion’ over ‘human rights,’ we found that people were more tolerant in their views,” Msosa said in quotes reported by Reuters.

Researchers surveyed 1,300 Malawians in-person, and the questions were answered anonymously and explained in local languages, he said.

Prior to this study, there was little data on the views of Malawian society and size of the LGBT+ community, said Jessie Kabwila, a former member of Malawian parliament and a human rights researcher not involved in the study.

“This study gives me hope,” she said. “This is locally conducted research by Malawians in our own languages that show that the perceptions are changing around gender and sexuality and there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

The study found 87 percent supported constitutional protection of LGBT+ human rights.

But 90 percent said they could not accept a gay man or lesbian woman in their own family, and almost one in four said they might be violent toward gender non-conforming people in the future.

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Mbwenu Naluta
Mbwenu Naluta
7 months ago

Where is Chakwera’s leadership prowess if he cannot come out in the open and kickstart “same sex marriage” discussion? This just shows he is laboriously negating his responsibilities for not championing the discourse for fear of being labelled biased, but by being tight lipped he is even displaying his sheer weaknesses. Leaders lead in different ways, not by hiding in state houses and only come out to bark on tv/radios on baseless subjects. Is he not the same person who was in the forefront just a couple of months ago chastising the previous government as if he had all the… Read more »

Opportunist
Opportunist
7 months ago

Countries like Uganda and Nigeria are very loud and clear on gay rights. There is nothing wrong in our blessed yet ‘small’ nation categorically stating it’s stand on gay rights. This is not the time to feign ignorance in the name of donor funds.

Brass Henry
Brass Henry
7 months ago

Human Rights Is Human Rights
I would think that a Pastor is suppose to be a man of love and compassion
Throughout my life I have only witnessed the opposite of what Christians preach
“Preaching water but drinking wine”..
When someone tells me that they are a Christian I usually run the other way…
I hope the DONORS will also run the other way..

Bauleni
Bauleni
7 months ago

Legalise it. Most of you do worse things in the comfort of your bedrooms. Let people have rights. Most of you already do what the LGBT already does. Most of you eat each other’s private parts, play with each other’s anus. I don’t know what’s new here? Let people be. Judgement is individual by God the creator. Let he without sin, cast the first stone. Tonse tozakaweluzidwa. All the people are asking for is the right to love whoever they want and live happily with protections of the constitution.

Chamba
Chamba
7 months ago

You don’t let the majority decide on the rights of the minority. It is already a losing game. It’s just the same as letting the majority decide on the rights of people with disabilities. Everyone agrees that people with disabilities require protection from the State even though there are in minority. In a similar way, LGBTs fall under the category of minorities with different perspectives based on their sexual orientation. How would you feel if your relative was discriminated based on sexual orientation?

Kambewa ngozo
7 months ago

Yee we need people like Joseph of the Bible. Kuno ku Malawi nyansi Yayi

Kambewa ngozo
7 months ago

Nyasi
There nothing to discuss here same sex is an abomination. Our culture does not allow zopusa and also The Bible is very clear on that issue.
I know that other people will support it because of funding. Kuli Ndalama

Chiwoko
Chiwoko
7 months ago
Reply to  Kambewa ngozo

Does the Bible allow polygamy or having sex outside wedlock or defiling chidren? Malawians stop being two faced pretend you are Christian but practicing things which your faith preaches. What gay community do is their business as long as they don’t do it with children.

Bwana Wa Ulesi
Bwana Wa Ulesi
7 months ago
Reply to  Chiwoko

@Chiwoko ngati nyama like dogs don’t do staff lak these of same sex nde uziti chan apa? The issue here is not comparing things but telling you what humans were designed by the creator-GOD

Chiwoko
Chiwoko
7 months ago
Reply to  Bwana Wa Ulesi

Who created LGBTs? Is it not the same God you pretend to believe in? If you are gong to follow the Bible then follow the ten comandments in totallity dont pick and choose what suits you.

Manyalira Mhone
7 months ago

Abusa give the nation guidance. Don’t pretend to be an ostrich that buries its head in the sand during a storm hoping it will go away on its own. Make your position known and provide guidance to the nation. That’s why you are president.

The Patriot
The Patriot
7 months ago

Its only in Malawi where politicians ascend to the presidency without the voters knowing their position on critical issues. Ideally by voting for him to be president we are giving him the mandate to carry on the policy recommendations he outlined during campaign. We vote for someone who is decisive and doesn’t push back to us to decide once again. What else is he going to push back to us to decide. The president is well aware of what the majority of Malawians want on the issue and yet thinks he can outsmart the “donors” who are pushing for these… Read more »

National Ceo
National Ceo
7 months ago

Let these LGBT groups source funds for a referendum, and then we should vote. May I be schooled why humans are in male and female forms?

Chiwoko
Chiwoko
7 months ago
Reply to  National Ceo

Biologically people are born differently. That is why we have people born with medical, physiological and physical diasabilities. LGBT is not a choice of life style it is a biological anomaly. Should we not allow them to live their own lives. Racist Whites consider Blacks not as humans as theselves and vise-versa. I have been in America and UK where devout Christian Evengelicals refused me in their churches because I am black. Is that Christianity. Leave the LGBTs alone as long as they do not interfere with the lives of us who consider ourselves as “Normal”. Dont bring GOd in… Read more »

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