I’ve been following the story of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga since their wedding day. When the couple became the first men in Malawi to get “married,” they knew the risk they were taking. Shortly after their ceremony, they were arrested and charged with public indecency. On May 20, 2010, after being denied bail because it would be unsafe for the couple to return to society, the two were sentence to 14 years hard labor.
Madonna, who has adopted two children, Mercy and David, from Malawi, made a plea to the Malawi people:
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,” Madonna said in a statement.
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.