The fight to protect the "sanctity of marriage" is now in Malawi, which has become part of the latest round of anti-gay hysteria which is sweeping across central and southern Africa. The National Assembly of Malawi has passed a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, reports Behind the Mask.
During this sitting Member of parliament, Edwin Banda proposed that the constitution should include a clause stipulating that Malawi is a "God fearing nation", a phrase that would cast homosexuality out as it is said to be ungodly. Banda said Malawi is a God fearing nation, "the whole front benches (Cabinet Ministers) are God fearing people, the speaker is a church elder. We should say no to same sex marriages. "Amidst applause by members of parliament Banda added "the clear position against homosexuality will help protect the sanctity of marriage and Malawi’s belief in God."
However Minister of Local government, Goodal Gondwe, rejected Banda’s proposal stating that the phrase would be legislate people’s faith. He said "people have different beliefs that will not be included in the constitution." Supporting the fight against homosexuality even the speaker of parliament said "as a church elder myself I do not support same sex marriages."
The amendment banning same sex marriage was reportedly passed as part of the FY 2009/2010 budget.
Malawi already boasts one of the harshest anti-gay laws on the continent. Homosexual acts are illegal and Section 153 prohibits "unnatural offences" punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment or a death sentence.
The marriage ban follows a wildly publicized campaign by Christian and Islamic leaders in the southern African nation who claimed the government would revoke "laws criminalizing homosexuality to allow gay marriages", according to Islamonline. Deputy Minister of Information John Bande said the harsh laws would not be revoked because "laws legalizing same-sex relations ... [are] an abomination and unacceptable."