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Should we be cruel with homosexuals?

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If a referendum were held today on whether to legalise homosexuality or not in Malawi, the result would obviously be that the majority of Malawians would vote with a resounding no.

This goes on to show the folly of such an exercise as it would be a pure waste of our time and national resources for a country that lacks in many things.

This is essentially because those of us who consider sex to be between man and woman are in a majority and our views on homosexuality are conservative as we consider it an abhorrence and those who practice it as vermin and the dregs of society.

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Well, we are all entitled to hold an opinion on any issue and none has a right to force us to hold views similar to theirs simply because their countries are powerful and hold sway in worldly affairs.

That said, cruelty should not be part of the equation as it has got nothing to do with us, Malawians, being conservative on homosexuality or not.

It is a moral issue and in a democratic country like ours, the State cannot get involved in policing morality as it tried to do in Lilongwe when it arrested Cuthbert Kulemera and Kelvin Gonani, two consenting adults, for merely sleeping under one roof and agreeing to do what they had to do.

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The law on homosexuality at the moment is cruel as it says those who practice must be locked up and tried and I say this is not Malawian.

As a nation, our practice is not to harass, dehumanise, and victimise those we think are “foolish, stupid and abnormal”

as the Police did in Lilongwe by forcing medical tests on the two against their will.

As society we have people among us that are patently not considered normal. Maybe they do not marry when everybody expects them to or play with children when they are way past that age. Some are clear retards and do things that are clearly foolish in the eyes of those of us who think we are normal.

Yet, despite this, tell me a community in Malawi that ties such people to stake just to punish them due to their “abnormality.”

Where then did the State get the powers to arrest and prosecute such people and what benefit do we get from such an action?

I cannot see homosexuality being allowed under the laws in Malawi in the near future because our politicians are cowards and the lobby against it is very strong.

After all, even among opposition parties, including MCP, the vibe is the same as none of them is willing to remove the law from our books. They do not like homosexuality as outlawing it would cost them votes.

But the question that they must all answer is: do we have to be cruel to such people?

Moralising is the duty of religion and I expect religious leaders to preach against homosexuality if they deem it fit or unbiblical. I would get worried if they did not.

But I also want to put to them that God is merciful and not cruel. Even the present pontiff for the Catholics, Pope Francis, is preaching mercy and not condemnation and harassment of homosexuals.

This has got nothing to do with donors although they want to come in on every issue as if we do the same with their way of life back home.

It is just us, Malawians, examining our value system and what we stand for.

And I want to say we stand for many things but cruelty is not one of them. Or is it?

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