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The BBC has reported that the court in Malawi has sentenced Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga to the maximum (14 years at hard labour) for the crime of "gross indecency and and unnatural acts". The CBC also has some coverage of the story. Both the U.K. and the United States have issued statements of "diplomatic concern/dismay" over the sentence, and I have read elsewhere that Norway (who has one of the largest bilateral aid agreements with Malawi) has issued "diplomatic warnings" to the regime. And then there is our government. I have searched to the best of my ability for official word out of Ottawa... but I have had no more luck finding a Canadian response than the CBC seems to have (at least at the time of posting).
In related news, the leader of Malawi is one of only two African leaders (Ethiopia's being the other) who Prime Minister Harper has invited to attend the G20 in Toronto this June. Would it be overly sarcastic to observe that Harper has forgotten to invite Uganda's leader? I wonder how he chooses between which homophobic regimes he invites? I mean an invitation to attend the G20 is essentially a diplomatic reward, isn't it.
Bastards, bastards, bastards.
I notice that the rabble piece about the G20 says nothing about Malawi's President Bingo wa Mutharika being invited in by Harper (sad when the mainstream media pays more attention to this than the "progressive" media). I was wondering if anyone closer to where this was happening are aware if any specific protest aimed at the Malawian president is being organized?
bagkitty, I know you have not reproduced what most of the MSM has stated, but those articles identify Chimbalanga and Monjeza as a "gay couple", whereas Chimbalanga has stated that she identifies and lives as a woman.
Small victory - the couple is pardoned.
For their sake as individuals, I am glad to hear this news. It still doesn't address the underlying issues though, and raises a new one - how can a legal system be considered fair and just when a politician (or monarch or what have you) can act in such a capricious fashion? Again, I am glad for their sakes, but whenever a pardon, or executive clemency or whatever name it goes by, is exercised I always wonder how it can do anything but bring the legal system of the place where it is exercised into question.
Could imagine someone telling you bagkitty, that you could not accept law changes positive to SS couples because the system was designed for heterosexuals and ya can't trust 'em?
Remind, can you try again please? I have read your post several times and I just can't make out what you are saying.
How would you respond to someone, from your community, telling you, you could not trust a law made by the heterosexual community, that benifitted your community?
Okay, that is a clear question at least (although I have a hard time with the concept of a law being passed specifically "benefitting" my community [note: I don't view removing an unjust impediment or restriction to be a benefit per se]) - my response would be to tell them that their analysis was probably flawed and, short of seizing an island somewhere and declaring independence, the LGBT communities were not really likely to find themself in the situation of being the majority in either the population or legislatures, and consequently such a hypothetical law would always be made by that other majority. Now, and I am trying to get back to my point about being uncomfortable with "pardon" or "executive clemency" -- if I, bagkitty, were to be the beneficiary of some political executive exercising their prerogative to exempt me from some impediment or restriction I would be quite relieved to be exempted, but would still maintain that the system remained unjust for having such an impediment or restriction in place and that structural change would be needed well beyond an executive having the potential to wave their magic wand and exempt me from the injustice. If justice depends on the whim of some political executive, well, is it really justice?
Well in particular I was thinking about SSM as an example.
No, IMV, if it were merely the whim of some executive, as opposed to being understood as a human right and applied as such.
Okay, I would have described the old situation as the LGBT being governed by an unjust impediment.
Homosexuality is illegal in at least 37 countries in Africa.
I suppose the Reform Party envies these laws and would like nothing better than to emulate them if they ever get the chance.