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Malawi suspends anti-gay laws

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Reuters
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November 6, 2012

Malawi suspended laws against relationships for same-sex couples on Monday and ordered police not to arrest gays pending a decision on whether to repeal the legislation, a source of friction with the impoverished southern African nation’s donors.

Being gay is banned in Malawi - as it is in 36 other African states - and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years, but Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara said he wanted debate on the issue before parliament decided whether to keep the laws or not.

“If we continue arresting and prosecuting people based on the said laws and later such laws are found to be unconstitutional it would be an embarrassment to government,” he told Reuters.

“It is better to let one criminal get away with it rather than throw a lot of innocent people in jail.”