Madonna Says Malawi Took "Giant Step Backward" For Imprisoning Gay Couple
Posted on Fri May 21, 2010 08:42 AM PDT

madonna200.jpgMANHATTAN, New York (X17online) - Madonna is highly upset about the Malawi courts' ruling to imprison a gay couple.

"Today, 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," the singer tells UsMagazine.com.

Steven Monjeza, 25 and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 33, were found guilty of unnatural acts and gross indecency. The two men will now serve 14 years of hard labor in prison ... a ruling their attorneys will appeal.

Reports claim that the couple publicly celebrated an engagement party. In the South African country, homosexuality is seen as an abomination. After photos from the party hit the press, the two were arrested.

A Malawi official released this statement: "I do not believe Malawi is ready at this point in time to see its sons, or cohabitating, or conducting engagement ceremonies. Malawi is not ready to smile at her daughters marrying each other. Let posterity judge this judgment."

As for Madonna, she adopted kids David and Mercy, both from Malawi. The singer is also the co-founder of the charity, Raising Malawi.

She adds, "I am shocked and saddened by the decision made by the Malawian court, which sentenced two innocent men to prison. As a matter of principle, I believe in equal rights for all people, no matter what their gender, race, color, religion, or sexual orientation. I call upon the 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."

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