Madonna has issued a statement condemning the decision by a Malawi court to sentence gay couple Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga to 14 years in prison for "gross indecency" and "unnatural acts" for having an engagement ceremony last year.
Many have been calling on the singer to issue a statement. She has adopted two children from Malawi and is building an orphanage there.
Madonna wrote, "I am shocked and saddened by the decision made today by the Malawian court, which sentenced two innocent men to prison. As a matter of principle, I believe in equal rights for all people, no matter what their gender, race, color, religion, or sexual orientation. Today, Malawi took a giant step backward. The world is filled with pain and suffering; therefore, we must support our basic human right to love and be loved. I call upon the progressive men and women of Malawi — and around the world — to challenge this decision in the name of human dignity and equal rights for all."