MALAWI: New President Vows To Decriminalize Homosexuality

Sit down, there’s good news from Africa.

President Joyce Banda has said she wants Malawi to overturn its ban on homosexual acts – the first African country to do so since 1994. Two Malawian men were sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2010 after saying they were getting married. Several Western leaders have recently said they would cut aid to countries which did not recognise gay rights. In her first state of the nation address to parliament, Mrs Banda said: “Some laws which were duly passed by the august house… will be repealed as a matter of urgency… these include the provisions regarding indecent practices and unnatural acts.” The BBC’s Raphael Tenthani in the main city, Blantyre, says the president has the support of a majority of MPs and so should be able to get parliament to overturn the law.

Religious groups are expected to loudly oppose Banda’s plan.