Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gay Malawi Couple Convicted for Engagement Ceremony

     A gay couple in Malawi has been convicted for having an engagement celebration and will likely go to jail.  When released (if they survive prison), they will face death threats and probably have to flee their country.
     A judge convicted a gay couple Tuesday of charges that could send them to jail for more than a decade following an engagement celebration ...Tiwonge Chimbalanga, a 20-year-old hotel janitor, and his unemployed partner Steven Monjeza, 26, were arrested the day after they celebrated their engagement with a party at the hotel where Chimbalanga worked — an apparent first in Malawi.
     The couple were convicted of unnatural acts and gross indecency under laws dating from the colonial era. Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa said the sentencing will take place on Thursday and they could be imprisoned for up to 14 years.
     Homosexuality is illegal in at least 37 countries in Africa including Malawi. In Uganda, lawmakers are considering a bill that could sentence homosexuals to life in prison and includes capital punishment for "repeat offenders." Even in South Africa, the only African country that recognizes gay rights, gangs have raped lesbians.
     Mwakasungula said the two Malawian men were concerned that if they were released, they could be attacked by Malawians who have threatened them. But given the laws and the climate in Malawi, he said a guilty verdict had been expected.
     The government, backed by Malawi church leaders, says it is clear the two men broke the law. Religious officials say homosexuality is "sinful" and the West should not be allowed to use its financial power to force Malawi to accept homosexuality. Malawi relies on donors for 40 percent of its development budget.
     Malawi is 55% Protestant and 20% Catholic.  How's that for the traditional value of love thy neighbor?

Rep. Mark Souder of Indiana, Traditional Marriage Proponent, Resigns Amid Sex with Staffer Scandal

     Representative Mark Souder, a Republican Protestant from Indiana and supporter of traditional marriage, who on his website claims to be "committed to fighting the assault on American values," just got caught with his dick in a staffer.  Adultery, anyone?

     TPM reports:
     Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN), a champion of abstinence education and traditional family values, will resign effective Friday after an affair with a female staffer in his district office, he announced today.
     He said in a statement that he "sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff." And he blamed the atmosphere in Washington for forcing him to make the move:
     "In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain. I am resigning rather than to put my family through that painful, drawn-out process."  The eight-term Indiana congressman is, of course, a vocal proponent of traditional family values. He has been married since 1974 and has three grown children.
     You know that poisonous media environment in Washington that he's attacking?  It was FOX News that broke the story.

     Not only did Souder "sin" by committing adultery, but he lied for months during his current primary bid about the affair.  Is he going to apologize for lying, too?

     Elected as a family values conservative as part of the Republican revolution in 1994, Souder survived a tough re-election challenge in 2008 and survived a contested primary two weeks ago.
     All the way through his election, Souder tried to knock down the affair story, calling it revenge politics at play. But the backroom chatter in Indiana and among the GOP on Capitol Hill became too much to survive. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels was informed as late as Monday night that Souder would give up his post.
     Souder, 59, was absent from Washington most of last week, missing multiple votes and voting only on Thursday. While the rumors had been flying, Souder claimed that he was at home tending to his ill wife.
     In his statement, he added that by stepping down, his "mistake cannot be used as a political football" to undermine the causes he supports.
     Sorry, buddy, but you sticking your dick in a staffer and covering it by using your wife by saying that she's ill and your nursing her, while telling me that I'm immoral and can't have equal rights with partner of two and a half years, screams kickoff

     You are a hypocrite and a liar. You think you have the authority to tell other people what is right and wrong, but you can't follow your own measly ten commandments.  Enjoy retirement.

     I believe that Congress must fight to uphold the traditional values that undergird the strength of our nation. The family plays a fundamental role in our society. Studies consistently demonstrate that it is best for a child to have a mother and father, and I am committed to preserving traditional marriage, the union of one man and one woman.
     Traditional marriage equals the union of one man, his supposedly ill wife, and his part-time staffer.  I'm sure your children feel that they are benefiting from this experience.

     Just in case you forgot what traditional marriage is, here's a quick lesson from Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian.

Portuguese President Silva Will Sign Same-Sex Marriage Bill, Pope Benedict Failed

     Pope Benedict XVI failed to sink Portugal's marriage equality bill. A mere three days after the pope's visit in which he decried gay rights, President Anibal Silva announced he's signing the bill, but not because it's the right thing to do.  He knows the parliament will override his veto. 

     NPR reports:
     Portugal's conservative president announced Monday he is reluctantly ratifying a law allowing gay marriage, making the predominantly Catholic country the sixth in Europe to let same-sex couples wed.  President Anibal Cavaco Silva said he would not veto the bill because majority liberal lawmakers would only overturn his decision. The country must focus instead on battling a crippling economic crisis that has increased unemployment and deepened poverty, he said.
     "Given that fact, I feel I should not contribute to a pointless extension of this debate, which would only serve to deepen the divisions between the Portuguese and divert the attention of politicians away from the grave problems affecting us," Cavaco Silva said.  He said he was setting aside his "personal convictions," though he did not elaborate and did not take reporters' questions.
     The country's parliament passed the Socialist government-backed bill in January, with the support of all of Portugal's left-of-center parties, who together have a majority. Right-of-center parties opposed the measure and demanded a national referendum.  Elsewhere in Europe, gay marriage is permitted in Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Norway. Five U.S. states and Washington, D.C., have also legalized same-sex marriage, as have Canada and South Africa.
     Even more good news from Portugal.  The nation has 10.6 million residents of which roughly 90% (9.5 million) are Catholic.  Of these 9.5 million Catholics, only 2 million describe themselves as practicing Catholics.  That's roughly 20%.  The current success rate of the church in Portugal is 20%.  Wow.

     If only the United States could only get this kind of separation of church and state going.  After all, we claim to have invented it.