Gays and Lesbians · The Lighter Side

Malawi

The Republic of Malawi (pronounced /məˈlɑːwi/; Chichewa [malaβi]) is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Its size is over 118,000 km2 (45,560 sq mi) with an estimated population of more than 13,900,000. Its capital is Lilongwe, the largest city is Blantyre. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. So why am I talking about Malawi?

2,500 years before Jesus,  there lived in Egypt two young men, Knhumhotep and Niankhkhnum. The tomb of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum was discovered by Egyptologist Ahmed Moussa in the necropolis at Saqqara, Egypt in 1964, during the excavation of the causeway for the pyramid of King Unas. It is the only tomb in the necropolis where men are displayed embracing and holding hands. In addition, the men’s chosen names (both theophorics to the creator-god Khnum) form a linguistic reference to their closeness:

Niankhkhnum means “joined to life” and Khnumhotep means “joined to the blessed state of the dead'” and together the names can be translated as “joined in life and joined in death”

In 630 BC marriage between men in Greece was not legally recognized, although life-long relationships between adult men were not uncommon. The partnerships between two men in Greece were similar to heterosexual marriages with the exception that generally there was about a generation difference in age and the older person served as the educator or mentor.

385 BC, Plato’s symposium is published, saying that sex between men is the highest form, and that with women is lustful only. I have a lot of respect for Plato, but he sort of went overboard with his two bits there.

326 BC – Military leader Alexander the Great, who may have been bisexual, completes conquest of most of the then known Western world, launching the Hellenistic Age in which millions of people are converted to a Hellenistic culture that views homosexual relationships positively.

80 BC – Julius Caesar allegedly has a love affair with king Nicomedes IV of Bithynia

27 BC – The Roman Empire begins with the reign of Augustus. The first recorded same-sex marriages occur during this period

00 – Jesus came, and since (as per most Christians) God was his father, he felt that men should only fondle their junk in front of women, not many paid heed to this at this point, but as you read on, he did change the way humans lived their natural lives…

54 – Nero becomes Emperor of Rome. Nero married two men in legal ceremonies, with at least one spouse accorded the same honours as a Caesar’s wife

98 – Trajan, one of the most beloved of Roman emperors, begins his reign. Trajan was well known for his homosexuality and fondness for young males. This was used to advantage by the king of Edessa, Abgar VII, who, after incurring the anger of Trajan for some misdeed, sent his handsome young son to make his apologies, thereby obtaining pardon

529 – The Christian emperor Justinian I (527-565) made homosexuals a scape goat for problems such as “famines, earthquakes, and pestilences.” So the plot thickens, as the seeds sown by Jesus 500 years ago, finally bear fruit.

693 – In Iberia, Visigothic ruler Egica of Hispania and Septimania, demanded that a Church council confront the problem of homosexuality in the Kingdom. The Sixteenth Council of Toledo issued a statement in response, which was adopted by Egica, stating that homosexual acts be punished by castration, exclusion from Communion, hair shearing, one hundred stripes of the lash, and banishment into exile.

1102 – The Council of London took measures to ensure that the English public knew that homosexuality was sinful

1260 – In France, 1st offending sodomites lost their testicles, 2nd offenders lost their member, and 3rd offenders were burned. Women caught in same-sex acts could be mutilated and executed as well

1476 – Leonardo Da Vinci is charged with sodomy but no verdict was rendered in his trial

1649 – The first known conviction for lesbian activity in North America occurs in March when Sarah White Norman is charged with “Lewd behaviour each with other upon a bed” with Mary Vincent Hammon in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Hammon was under 16 and not prosecuted

1721 – Catherina Margaretha Linck is executed for female sodomy in Germany

1791 – Revolutionary France (and Andorra) adopts a new penal code which no longer criminalizes sodomy. France thus becomes the first West European country to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults. Thus starts the beginings of a new period in Europe, a period where religion albeit Christianity is stripped of its powers, and people prevail.

1830 – Brazil decriminalizes homosexual acts; The word asexual is used as a term for the first time in biology.

1858 – The Ottoman Empire (predecessor of Turkey) decriminalizes sodomy; Timor-Leste legalises homosexuality. Can you believe that, they were Muslims, Islam, the so called religion of bombers!

1903 – In New York on February 21, 1903, New York police conducted the first United States recorded raid on a gay bathhouse, the Ariston Hotel Baths. 26 men were arrested and 12 brought to trial on sodomy charges; 7 men received sentences ranging from 4 to 20 years in prison

1920 – The word Gay is used for the first time in reference to homosexuality in the Underground.

1970 – The first Gay Liberation Day March is held in New York City; The first Gay Freedom Day March is held in Los Angeles; The first “Gay-in” held in San Francisco; CAMP (Campaign Against Moral Prosecution) is formed in Australia.

1973 – The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-II), based largely on the research and advocacy of Evelyn Hooker; Malta legalizes homosexuality; In West Germany, the age of consent is reduced for homosexuals to 18 (though it is 14 for heterosexuals).

1980 – The United States Democratic Party becomes the first major political party in the U.S. to endorse a homosexual rights platform plank; Scotland decriminalizes homosexuality; David McReynolds becomes the first openly LGBT individual to run for President of the United States, appearing on the Socialist Party U S A ticket; The Human Rights Campaign Fund is founded by Steve Endean; The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality

2000 – The United Kingdom’s ban on homosexuals serving in the armed forces is abolished and Section 28 is repealed in Scotland; the former USSR states of Azerbaijan and Georgia legalize homosexual acts; Gabon decriminalize homosexuality; the age of consent is equalised in the United Kingdom, Belarus, and Israel; The Bundestag officially apologizes to gays and lesbians persecuted under the Nazi regime, and for “harm done to homosexual citizens up to 1969”; Vermont becomes the first U.S. state to legalize civil unions; Israel recognizes same-sex relations for immigration purposes for a foreign partner of an Israeli resident

2010 – Australia becomes the first country in the world to recognise a ‘non-specified’ gender, when the New South Wales Government recognises Norrie May-Welby as being neither male or female – as hormonally, psychologically and physically zie was neither male or female. Referred to as “zie” (rather than she/he) and “hir” (rather than her/his), Norrie began male-to-female reassignment when zie was 23, but felt ‘uncomfortable living solely as a woman’. This was however shortly canceled by Australian authorities after the story hit international headlines. Norrie has since been forced to choose a gender. Same-sex marriage is now recognized in Portugal.

8:14 a.m. CT, Thurs., May 20, 2010 BLANTYRE, Malawi – A judge sentenced a couple to the maximum 14 years in prison with hard labor under Malawi’s anti-gay legislation, and crowds jeered the two men as they were driven from the court house to jail Thursday.

Hundreds of onlookers inside and outside the court house showed little sympathy. There were shouts of “You got what you deserve!” and “Fourteen years is not enough, they should get 50!”

Media, human rights activists, all watch in horror as Malawi, a 46 year old country does what they taught it to do. 80% of the population in Malawi are Christians with the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian making up the largest Christian groups. There are also smaller numbers of Anglicans, Baptists, evangelicals and Seventh-day Adventists.

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