By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com January 18 2010 4:30 PM ET
The Malawi government announced Monday that it would not cave to international pressure to release two gay men who have been imprisoned on charges of unnatural acts and gross indecency after engaging in a same-sex marriage ceremony last month, The Washington Post reports. The men face up to 14 years in prison if found guilty of the charges.
Malawi’s Information Minister Leckford Mwanza Thoto said in a statement that Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were “clearly breaking the laws of Malwi.”
“As government we cannot interfere in the court process,” Thoto said. “We depend on our Western friends, yes, but we are a sovereign country.”
Forty percent of Malawi’s budget, the Post reports, is funded by international donors.
Among those who have protested the men’s arrest are Amnesty International, more than 20 members of the Scottish parliament, and the U.K. gay rights group Outrage! This weekend, Queen Elizabeth II's composer, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, spoke out in favor of Outrage’s efforts.
A verdict in the men’s case is expected next month.
Read the full Post story here.