In response to a formal inquiry from the United Nations Human Rights Committee, Malawian Justice Minister Janet Chikaya-Banda has announced that the government of Malawi will cease enforcement of the nation’s laws against same-sex sexual relations while a court-ordered review of the country’s existing anti-gay laws is completed.
Pink News reports:
[Chikaya-Banda] said the review had stalled due to financial constraints, despite a ruling last autumn by the High Court to review the constitutionality of the laws.
This announcement does not, however, represent the first instance of such laws in Malawi being suspended. The enforcement of Malawi’s anti-gay laws had previously been halted for a brief period of time in November 2012 by the Justice Minister at the time, Ralph Kasambara. “If we continue arresting and prosecuting people based on the said laws and later such laws are found to be unconstitutional, it would be an embarrassment to government,” Kasambara told Reuters at the time.
This move was viewed at the time to be in line with Malawian President Joyce Banda’s May 2012 commitment to decriminalize consensual sexual relations between two people of the same sex, as well as the previous Justice Minister Ephraim Chiume’s December 2011 inclusion of the country’s anti-gay laws within a list of pieces of legislation he preferred to see reviewed, in a report issued the same week as then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s landmark address before the United Nations summit in Geneva on the subject of LGBT rights.
However, this decision was quickly reversed a few days later under intense pressure and lobbying from the Malawi Council of Churches, a group of 24 Protestant churches in Malawi. Upon issuing this reversal, Kasambara stated that he would rather see the national parliament settle the issue.
Homosexuality is currently illegal in Malawi under Section 153 and 156 of the nation’s Penal Code, which prohibit “unnatural offenses” and offenses against “public decency,” respectively. The order issued today by the current Justice Minister will act to halt enforcement of these provisions.
Here’s our daily quick round-up of the marriage equality and LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we just didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!
Argentina: More than 9,000 same sex couples have married in the country in the four years since it became legal. full story
Australia: Alex McKinnon profiles Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm, a conservative Senator who has become an unlikely standard bearer for marriage equality. full story
UK: Local Conservative associations are telling Prime Minister David Cameron that the party’s support for marriage equality hjas led to a drop in membership. full story
UK: A lesbian asylum seeker from Uganda was given a reprieve from deportation this week. full story
USA: Despite gains, LGBT government employees feel less satisfied in their jobs than their straight peers, a new study shows.. full story
USA: Elizabeth Ann Thompson at the Huffngton Post asks “what about divorce equality”? full story
USA: 3.4% in the US self-identify as LGBT, a new survey says. full story
USA, Arkansas: The Eureka Springs City Council is voting on a marriage equality resolution. full story
USA, California: Same sex weddings are spurring a mini economic boom in Palm Springs. full story
USA, Delaware: As marriage equality spreads to other surrounding states, Delaware County clerks expect to issue fewer than the 2,000 marriage licenses they gave out this year to same sex couples in coming years. full story
USA, Georgia: Marriage equality advocates are calling on state AG Sam Olens to drop his defense of the marriage equality ban. full story
USA, Indiana / Wisconsin: Arguments in the IN and WI marriage equality lawsuits will take place at the Seventh Circuit in Chicago on 8/13. full story
USA, Ohio: Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland (D) is scheduled to speak at a marriage equality rally in August 5th. full story
USA, Ohio: Seats will be limited for the federal appeals court hearing on marriage equality on Cincinnati on 8/6. full story
USA, Washington DC: Transgender Lobby Day is going on Mon/Tues this week in DC. full story
USA, Wisconsin: Wisconsin is asking that the full 7th circuit review the marriage equality case, instead of a three judge panel. full story
Gay Marriage is Like Terrorism and Mass Shootings
At a revival event this week, Bob Vander Plaats, the man most single-handedly responsible for driving the GOP to the far right for the Iowa primaries, showed a video showing the “darkness” in America that calls for a spiritual revival. Among the elements of this “darkness” – terrorism attacks, mass shootings, and gays getting married. One of these things is not like the other… didn’t Vander Plaats ever watch Sesame Street?
Doctors Should Be Jailed for Performing Gender Reassignment Surgery
Peter LaBarbera, one of those folks always falsely claiming Christians will be jailed for their beliefs, now wants to jail doctors who perform gender reassignment surgeries for transgender people. “These doctors who perform these operations – this should be illegal – these guys need to go to jail. This is almost the most analogous thing to the abortionist on that issue I can think of. These doctors [are] exploiting these gender confused individuals and making money off of them.” Talk about putting the cart before the horse. These doctors aren’t going out looking for confused people and then dragging them back to their operating rooms for forced surgery. They are responding to a genuine need with open hearts. Next, I expect LaBarbera will say “some of my best friends are transgenders”.
Biden is a Dictator for Calling me a Bigot
“Christian” conservative Linda Harvey is offended that VP Joe Biden called people like her “prejudiced” just ’cause she hates the gays. “Vice President Biden is starting to sound like a representative of a dictatorship, one that is determined to roll over other counties regardless of the consequences. Defending deviance is not a noble position and he is deeply deceived to believe that it is ‘inhumane’ to object to these behaviors. But the current administration is really ramping up its efforts to promote this immorality and the White House went out of its way to issue many different proclamations to bolster so-called LGBT advocates during the recent June homosexual pride month.” If Harvey wants to see what a dictatorship looks like, she should move to Russia. In a dictatorship, she would be in jail. In this country, however, she gets to spout off her anti gay beliefs without interference from the government, no matter how narrow minded they might be.
The post Seriously? What Marriage Equality Opponents Are Saying appeared first on Gay Marriage Watch.
LGBTQ Nation reports:
A judge on Monday refused to stop a Denver clerk from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex, despite a still-active ban against the practice. Colorado District Judge C. Scott Crabtree last week ruled that the state’s 2006 voter-approved gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. But he put that ruling on hold pending appeal, meaning the Colorado ban remains in place… Suthers’ office late last week asked Crabtree to order Johnson to stop the marriages, saying that allowing the licenses to be issued despite the court’s stay “will undermine Coloradans’ confidence in their government.” On Monday, Crabtree refused. He noted the licenses were not issued in response to his ruling and said he had no jurisdiction to suspend them.
Now Suthers is asking the state’s highest court to step in, ignoring the Governor’s request to drop his appeals.
USA Today reports:
Colorado’s attorney general asked the state Supreme Court to block county clerks Monday from issuing licenses for same-sex marriages, saying he will defend the state’s ban against gay marriage all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court… “It appears very likely that, either judicially or politically, Colorado is going to have same-sex marriage,” Suthers said after asking the state’s high court for the stay. “But that is no excuse for abandoning the legal processes by which legal change or political change comes about.”… Because this is a direct appeal on a constitutional issue, the Colorado high court must take the case, bypassing the state court of appeals. The district court has 90 days to send the record of its case to the state Supreme Court in Denver, which will then set a schedule for briefings in the case.
So will the courts move quickly on this issue or not? In New Mexico, the dissent among county clerks was enough to push the court to issue a quick ruling legalizing marriage equality – it would be great to see that happen here, too.
The post Colorado Judge Refuses to Halt Weddings; AG Appeals to State Supreme Court appeared first on Gay Marriage Watch.
Lately, however, the blade of the wedge has turned. Marriage rights aren’t separating the mainstream from the left; they’re separating Republicans from other Republicans.
While the Republican Party’s religious conservatives continue to fight against same-sex marriage, its governors appear to be backing off their opposition – in their rhetoric, at least…. “I don’t think the Republican Party is fighting it,” Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker said of gay marriage. He spoke with The Associated Press during an interview this weekend at the National Governors Association in Nashville.
“I’m not saying it’s not important,” continued Walker, who is considering a 2016 presidential bid should he survive his reelection test this fall. “But Republicans haven’t been talking about this. We’ve been talking about economic and fiscal issues. It’s those on the left that are pushing it.”
The Sydney Morning Herald reports:
Support among Australians for same-sex marriage and for a conscience vote in the Coalition has reached an all-time high, according to a survey by the Liberal Party’s own pollster. A Crosby Textor poll, commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality, has found that 72 per cent of Australians want same-sex marriage legalised, while 77 per cent think Coalition MPs should be granted a conscience vote.
Amazing. And yet, even while there was a left wing government, marriage equality was blocked, in large part by single, atheist Prime Minister Julia Gillard. And now with a conservative government on place…