Two gay marriages in different continents and two totally different outcomes.
Jose Maria Di Bello and Alex Freyre became the first same-sex couple to marry in Latin America. Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza became the first gay men to walk down the aisle in Malawi.
Even though Di Bello and Freyre had to jump through some hoops by relying on a progressive provincial governor and travel to the continent’s southern tip, their marriage was greeted rather positively. Chimbalanga and Monjeza, however, were arrested and wound up in jail charged with gross public indecency.
Looks like Africa is trying really hard to become the most homophobic place on earth:
Marlow Valentine, community engagement and empowerment manager of the Triangle Project in South Africa, said: “We are disgusted and outraged that this couple has been arrested and we call for their release. It is an infringement of their human rights.” He said a hardening of attitudes towards gay rights across Africa was being encouraged by US-based Christian evangelical groups.
Uganda’s parliament is debating legislation that will allow homosexuality to be punishable by death. Sudan and northern states in Nigeria can already enforce the death penalty. Burundi criminalised homosexuality this year, joining 37 African countries where gay sex is outlawed.
“We are certainly going backwards in terms of legislation,” Valentine said. “South Africa is the only country in Africa that constitutionally protects the rights of gay people, but it has been very quiet about other countries here becoming more conservative.”
Not content to bash the gays in their own country, American theocrats are aiding and abetting the homophobia in Africa. They’re getting their way by having gays thrown in jail. That’s probably what they want in the U.S., too.