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Local NGO, Manerela+, sympathises with homosexuals; condemns homophobic reactions

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The Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally affected by HIV and Aids (Manerela+) has condemned hate speeches being uttered by individuals, organisations and some religious leaders against gays.

In a statement issued on Monday, Manerela+ argued that the homophobic statements will not only create a rift between congregants and communities but will defy God’s purpose to fully enjoy the Creator’s given love, respect and dignity.

“We condemn religious bodies and individuals who continue to incite violence against…suspected men having sex with men. It is regrettable that the men and women and God whom everyone looks up to have become a source of castigation and violence. We realise and recognise stigimatising and discriminating any community or individuals such as gay men not only is it constitutionally wrong but also deprives them from accessing health service and participation in national development agenda,” read the statement.

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Manerela+ further applauded government for creating a positive environment for the key affected population.

“In view of the current environment, it’s important that the ongoing debate be nurtured in a nonintimidating and emotional environment. Let all sides of the debate do so with respect and love for each other,” it said.

The concern from Manerela+ follows calls from Malawi Law Society and other NGOs to arrest People’s Party Publicity Secretary Ken Msonda for inciting hate speech on his media facebook page.

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