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Former colonies resent pro-LGBT bossiness by former rulers

Joyce Banda, president of Malawi
Joyce Banda, president of Malawi

Here’s an example of how sensitive many Africans are about any suggestion that their former colonial overlords are still trying to boss them around.

That sensitivity has colored the response to American and British warnings that decisions about future foreign aid will be affected by countries’ treatment of LGBT people.  So when Joyce Banda, the new president of Malawi, called for repeal of the country’s laws against homosexual activities, the backlash came not just from anti-gay partisans.

Writing in the Nyasa Times, Cedrick Ngalande supports her position but takes offense at the thought that Banda would communicate the results of any parliamentary vote to the rest of the world:

Perhaps the most disturbing act by the present administration was on the issue of homosexuality. The president indicated that government would be repealing the law prohibiting homosexuality in parliament [that was good].

Then a few days later she addressed a press conference and advised members of parliament to vote their conscience on this issue [that was good too]. But then she went on and said something outrageous, “if the parliament does not have enough votes to repeal the law, I will be ok with that. I will go to the international community and tell them that Malawians are not ready on this issue”.

What? Why does she feel an obligation to report to outsiders the results of a Malawi Parliamentary vote? Except, of course, if the decision to take the issue to parliament was made for her by those outsiders!

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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