POP superstar Madonna said yesterday she was “shocked” at the 14-year jail sentencing of a Malawian gay couple for sodomy, after they held the African country’s first same-sex wedding.
Madonna, who has adopted two children from the poor nation and runs several charity projects in the region, said the imprisonment of Steven Monjeza, 26, and his 20-year-old partner Tiwonge Chimbalanga was a violation of basic human rights.
“I am shocked and saddened by the decision made this week by the Malawian court, which sentenced two innocent men to prison,” said Madonna in a statement on the website of her charity Raising Malawi.
“As a matter of principle, I believe in equal rights for all people, no matter what their gender, race, color, religion, or sexual orientation,” said Madonna, who is building a $15 million academy for girls in Malawi.
“This week, Malawi took a giant step backward. The world is filled with pain and suffering; therefore, we must support our basic human right to love and be loved.”
She urged “progressive men and women of Malawi – and around the world – to challenge this decision in the name of human dignity and equal rights for all.”