Gay Rights Huh?

Posted on 02/06/2010

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So the Malawian couple were pardoned by the President of Malawi – Bingu wa Mutharika. Much was made of this issue with various external organisations threatening to revisit their ‘support’ for the country. Support = Aid in this case. Some 40% of Malawi’s fiscal budget is reliant on this very aid I might add. I was aware of this interesting fact and wondered at the time of the arrest and the subsequent sentencing of the gay couple whether this carrot and donkey trick would come into play at some stage. I had hoped it wouldn’t, but it was proven that my earlier fears were in fact correct. The UN Secretary General – Ban Ki-moon eventually visited Malawi, followed by presumably in-depth discussions and so the couple were eventually set free.
 
In other news, a Lib Dem cabinet member – David Laws was ‘forced’ to resign his position of Chief Secretary to the Treasury in the new UK coalition government after allegations of misuse regarding his MP expenses. I’m not too clear on the details here (not the focal point of this entry) but it turns out that the minister in question is gay and claimed some expenses for living in his partner’s home. He apologised soon after this all came to light and indicated in his apology that he had structured things in this manner as he wanted to keep his sexuality private. I can understand that.
 
So I stop here and perhaps for a short while place these two scenarios side by side. Many news media sources pointed figures at Africa’s lack of gay rights. The patriotic African in me wanted to stand up and refute such claims. I thought about that for a brief moment, sat down and oh well – Ok fine I agree. However we must also look at those who constantly point fingers at us. Many gay and lesbians worldwide still face a tough time being openly gay as indicated by David Laws’ case. I too have a dream. Let us focus on addressing this pertinent issue of making gay and lesbians more comfortable in this society, so that ‘coming out’ becomes a non-event and instead we slowly move away from what I call ‘social hypocrisy’. I will end here today with a saying my father constantly uses: ‘Don’t throw stones at the neighbour’s house when yours is made of glass’.

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