Malawi President Reverses Promise to Decriminalize Homosexuality

President Joyce Banda has reneged on her promise to decriminalize homosexuality in Malawi.

According to the Advocate, Malawi’s president is withdrawing her promise to decriminalize homosexuality.

Malawi President Joyce Banda has announced that she will not decriminalize homosexual sexual activity due to a lack of public support for the removal of the measure. Banda took office in April following the death of President Bingu.
Under Penal Code Cap. 7:01 Laws of Malawi 24 Section 153, sexual acts between two men or two women are illegal and may face up to 14 years of prison time. A gay couple was sentenced to 14 years for “unnatural acts” back in 2010, but charges were dropped and the men released.
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Vietnamese Man is First to Legally Change Sex


According to Viet Nam Net a man, who underwent sex reassignment surgery in Viet Nam, is now the first person to be recognized  as having changed their sex under Vietnamese law.

The former man, Pham Van Hiep, has changed her name to Pham Le Quynh Tram after being approved for surgery back in 2009. Pham was born intersexed, but doctors declared her a male at birth. When Pham reached puberty breasts began to grow, leaving Pham confused about her sex assignment at birth.

In 2006, medical testing showed that Pham had very high levels of female hormones and she was advised to travel to Thailand for sex reassignment surgery. Pham quit school and began to work and save for the surgery, eventually amassing $250,000 before embarking on the 2-year transition process.

Following her surgery, Tram requested the government allow her to change her legal sex assignment. In 2009, the government finally approved Pham’s request, and she became the first man to obtain the legal sex change.

Kenyan Police Blackmailing Gays

According to Identity Kenya, a Kenyan news source for sexual minorities, police officers in Nairobi are blackmailing gay men to either pay officers or go to jail.

Gay men in the city of Nairobi are being arrested, and told that they must either pay the officer or face criminal charges. One man was arrested outside of a movie theater and taken away in a van. The man was then told that he would be charged with selling gay pornography and taken into the police station if he didn’t pay the officers KShs 100,000 or about $1180.00.

Similar claims of arrests have been made by gay, bisexual, and closeted married men in the area. Officers are allegedly working with local gay informants to find out who has been engaging in same-sex activity. Those men are then targeted for blackmail. Officers are also believed to seeking out gay men on Facebook and gay websites used by Kenyans.

Under Article 162 and 163 of the Kenyan Penal Code, sexual acts between two men are illegal and  can carry a sentence of up to 14 years. The sentence can be as high as 21 years if aggravating circumstances are present. These harsh sentences make it understandable why Kenyan men are afraid to challenge their captors or face the courts instead of giving into police pressure.

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