Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga were convicted of "gross indecency and unnatural acts" on Tuesday. The couple was arrested in December after they held a traditional engagement ceremony. The men are believed to be the first same-sex couple in Malawi to publicly declare a commitment.
Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley expressed the Obama Administration's displeasure during the Tuesday press briefing.
"The United States is deeply disappointed in today’s conviction of same-sex couple Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza in Malawi. We view the criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity as a step backward in the protection of human rights in Malawi. The Government of Malawi must respect the human rights of all of its citizens. The United States views the decriminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity as integral to the protection of human rights in Malawi and elsewhere in the world."
The couple faces up to 14 years in prison with hard labor. Sentencing is expected on Thursday. Human rights organizations have condemned the Malawi government's actions. Lawyers promise to appeal to Malawi's high court.
Watch CBS News' report on the case WHEN YOU JUMP ...