Wowsers show their hypocrisy

David Aaronovitch; 9/1/09

You may have come across a report this week about the imprisonment in Malawi of two men who had just become engaged. Tiwonge Chimbalanga – a transvestite – and Steven Monjeza, both in their early twenties, pledged themselves to each other in front of 500 witnesses and then were carted off to jail, and may now face a sentence of 14 years. The fate of the men may have gained salience from recent events in Uganda. There the parliament has been considering a draft law, drawn up by David Bahati, an MP, entitled the Anti-Homosexuality Act, whose provisions aim to “prohibit any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex”, with penalties including life imprisonment and, for “aggravated homosexuality”, the death penalty. One can only marvel at the bill’s provisions, such as the one defining that a “sexual act … may include the touching of another’s breast, vagina, penis or anus … ” and that “touching includes touching (a) with any part of the body; (b) with anything else; (c) through anything …”