Three highly regarded religious groupings in Malawi are mobilizing their faithfuls to gather outside the Constitutional Court premises in Blantyre on May 23 this year as three judges hear a controversial case in which applicants want the court to declare the country’s sex laws unconstitutional.
The groupings, Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) and Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) argue homosexuality is a sin before God and if legalized it will promote society moral decay.
This is a case in which the constitutionality of outlawing homosexuality in the country is being challenged.
This follows a constitutional referral matter of 2021 involving a Dutch national Jan Willem Akstar and a transgender woman Jana Gonani who are challenging the constitutionality of banning same sex marriages in Malawi.
A victory in their bid effectively legalises same sex marriages and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) activities in the country.
Sections 153 and 156 of the Penal Code currently outlaw these acts.
Consequently, the duo moved the Constitutional Court to declare the two pieces of legislation unconstitutional; arguing they violate their right to privacy, dignity, among others.
But the religious groups have vowed to unite in prayer against the same-sex marriage legalization.
“We must all stand together as a nation in solidarity to defend to defend the natural family marriage as established by God,” reads a statement by the three religious groups.
Justices Joseph Chigona, Vikochi Chima and Chimbizgani Kacheche will hear the case.
In 2010, former president, late Bingu Wa Mutharika was forced to pardon a gay couple, Steve Muonjeza and Tina Chimbalanga, from a 14-year prison term after a meeting with the then United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who called on the country to amend ‘outdated’ laws on homosexuality.