Malawi Gay Couple Set Free: Thanks, Madonna!

This is incredibly great news! The Malawi couple (Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalangal – transgender who identifies as a woman) that were sentenced to 14 years of hard labor in prison for getting married have been ordered by the president to be set free, thanks to international protest and Madonna (who started a worldwide petition).

The order for them to be released comes 9 days after their sentencing, but several months after their original arrest. Here’s what Madonna (who had adopted her two sons, David and Mercy from Malawi, had to see about this great news:

“I have always believed love conquers all—yesterday I got to see it in action. In the last week over 30,000 of you added your name to mine calling for the release of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalangal—the Malawi couple sentenced to 14 years hard labor for the “crime” of homosexuality. With incredible joy, I am writing to share with you that Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has ordered their release.”

She also added, “”Though they are free from prison, sadly their safety and future in Malawi is still unknown. I hope this is just the beginning of our work together.”

Agreed. Well, all I can say is that I’m so happy this couple was released. A big win for sure.

UPDATE: Apparently Tiwonge Chimbalanga has gone missing after being released and arriving into their village at 9:00pm last night. Oh God, I hope she’s okay/safe!

  • Marc

    and now the news reports say they are “missing”, hopefully hiding and figuring out, with help, how to get out of there.

  • You do, of course, realise that Tiwonge is not a gay man, but a trans woman, yes? She identifies as a woman, according to her own words quoted in NYT in February, and we should respect her identity.

    Just thought I’d let you know in case you only have the faulty news reports to go by.

    I found your site when looking for news on her disappearance. It’s dreadful. I hope they’re both safe.

  • Oh thanks Jemima! I’ve updated the article accordingly. I hope they are both safe too!

  • That’s cool. Thanks 🙂 You forgot the headline, though.

    Now we can just hope that they’re safe.