Malawi Stops Arresting Gays ... for Now

Parliament considers dumping anti-gay laws entirely
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2012 2:40 AM CST
Women shout out as they protest against a sentence given to two men in Malawi, in the city of Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, May 20, 2010.   (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
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(Newser) – As Malawi's parliament considers whether to dump the African nation's anti-gay laws, the Justice Minister has had the laws banning same-sex relationships temporarily suspended, Reuters reports. Police have been ordered not to arrest gay people, who currently face a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison. Two factors figuring into the reconsideration of the laws: When two men were arrested in 2009 after becoming the first same-sex couple to marry in Malawi, international outcry resulted and some Western donors withdrew monetary support; also, a recent report to the president recommended gay marriages be decriminalized as a way to stem the spread of HIV. (Read more Malawi stories.)

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