b-activists: Madonna moves Malawi President to pardon gay couple
We’ve been keeping you posted on the Malawian couple Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga who were sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment due to “unnatural acts and gross indecency.” Both celebrities and governments around the world were outraged, including Madonna herself, who recently adopted a little girl from the country.
As a long-standing gay rights advocate, Madonna joined Elton John and the UN in their efforts to fight the sentence. The Queen of Pop attracted a large band of followers on her website, “Raising Malawi,” and gathered over 30,000 signatures, which moved Malawi President Bingu Wa Mutharika to pardon the gay couple.
“I have always believed love conquers all – yesterday I got to see it in action,” Madonna wrote on Raising Malawi’s site.
However, the President’s actions stopped short of repealing Malawi’s strict laws regarding homosexuality, and following their release, Monjeza and Chimbalanga have allegedly gone into hiding to avoid further prosecution. On her website, Madonna urges her followers that “this [signifies] the beginning of our work together.”
To get involved with Madonna’s efforts, follow her on: www.raisingmalawi.org.