Via The Lancet, Kathryn Senior

The issue of human rights for men who have sex with men and how national and local attitudes can affect the spread of HIV and AIDS was highlighted last month when Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, a male couple in Malawi, were sentenced to 14 years hard labour for sodomy, after they held the country’s first known same-sex commitment ceremony. International outcry followed, and after pressure from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during a visit to the country, Malawi’s president, Bingu wa Mutharika, granted an unexpected pardon. “This was a very courageous decision by President Mutharika. I highly applaud the President’s leadership. Distinguished members of the Parliament, I am confident that you will take appropriate steps to update laws discriminating based on sexual orientation in line with international standards”, Ban announced at a press conference shortly afterwards.

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