All your bitching from afar will not get the Malawian government to backtrack on its plans to charge couple Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga with gross public indecency after they dared stage an engagement ceremony to express their love in front of friends and family. Just like Uganda’s proposed execution of gays, Malawi’s officials aren’t going to let a little thing like international criticism get in the way of its anti-gay laws.
The trial of Monjeza and Chimbalanga was temporarily adjourned last week, when an ill Chimbalanga actually threw up in the court room, and was then forced to mop up his own sick. (Being denied bail and locked up in an overpopulated prison is not good for your health, apparently.)
The couple were “clearly breaking the laws of Malawi,” says Malawi’s Information Minister Leckford Mwanza Thoto. “As government we cannot interfere in the court process. We depend on our Western friends, yes, but we are a sovereign country.”
In a very terrible, backward kind of way, this is funny, because despite international criticism of the United States from countries like the Netherlands and Belgium, and just up north in Canada, where same-sex marriage is legal, the Obama administration continues to use the exact same excuse for why it continues doing things like defending the Defense of Marriage Act, refusing to halt Don’t Ask Don’t Tell investigations and refusing shared health care benefits for the same-sex partners of federal employees. “As government,” we can hear Attorney General Eric Holder saying, “we cannot interfere in the court process.”
The law is the law — no matter how discriminatory, unconstitutional, or in violation of international law — right?