Malawian Gay Couple Get 14 Years in Jail

Judge tells men public must be protected from 'people like you'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2010 2:23 PM CDT
Woman 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) – Two Malawian men were given 14-year prison sentences for trying to marry one another, the BBC reports. After telling the men that he wished to protect the public from "people like you," the judge gave the maximum sentence possible for unnatural acts and gross indecency. The two men were arrested in December, when they held an engagement ceremony.

The US called the ruling "a step backwards" for Malawian human rights, and advocacy groups such as Amnesty International condemned the action. In Malawi, however, at least some in the crowd outside the courtroom seemed to agree: the couple was greeted after sentencing with shouts of "You got what you deserve!" and "Fourteen years is not enough, they should get 50!"

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