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Gay Malawian Collapses in Court

One of the gay men arrested for holding a commitment ceremony in Malawi collapsed in court Thursday and was ridiculed by those assembled.

The trial, in the city of Blantyre, was adjourned after Tiwonge Chimbalanga vomited and fell onto the court floor just before the case was to start. While he was lying on the floor, observers taunted the fallen 20-year-old with remarks such as
"Auntie Tiwo is pregnant."

Chimbalanga was allowed to clean himself up, and after a few minutes he returned with a mop and pail to clean the vomit from the court floor. In Africa women usually mop the floor, even when they are sick, according to a report in The Times of London.

Chimbalanga and his partner, Steve Monjeza, 26, have been charged with unnatural practices between men and gross public indecency because they were married in a civil ceremony.

The chief resident magistrate at the court ordered that Chimbalanga be taken to the hospital for treatment. His lawyers told the court he has severe malaria and needed more time to rest before the case could resume.

Last week a judge denied the couple bail for their own protection while Chimbalanga spent more than a week in one of the country's most congested prisons.

The case has adjourned until January 25.

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