The clergy has expressed optimism that the march against same-sex relationships slated for today is an opportunity for those in such unions to reflect on their life and change their ways.
Addressing the media in Lilongwe yesterday, representatives of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM), Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) and other interested parties stressed that they do not mean to stigmatise or harm those propagating same-sex-relations, but to show them the right way.
Archbishop George Tambala of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lilongwe said much as there are some people who claim to have an attraction towards members of the same sex, the church cannot just accept that.
He said: “We are not planning any violence against these people, we are only protecting the dignity of marriage and family, we cannot go against God. We feel the institution of marriage is sacred, it is where we all came from and it needs to be protected.
“The will of God for marriage has been clear in the scriptures and in our culture, it is between a man and a woman and if we are to change this, we are going to destroy the nation and our future.”
ECM secretary general the Reverend Father Alfred Chaima, while reiterating the call for the faithful and Malawians of goodwill to come out and support the nationwide demonstrations, underlined that they are not fighting the court, but they are in defence of family, marriage and sexuality, “and we will not wait for anybody to preach this message”.
Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Nkhoma Synod general secretary the Reverend Vasco Kachipapa said the church cannot allow a few individuals to change the Constitution, which is clear on human sexuality and marriage.
He cited Sections 153 and 156 of the supreme law of the land.
“Every institution has its own rules and those that don’t want to follow the rules discriminate themselves,” said Kachipapa.
On his part, MCC general secretary the Reverend Alemekezeke Phiri described the church as the conscience of the society which is supposed to guide on what is wrong and what is right.
“The teaching of the church will never change. Rights and human rights have to derive from the values of the people of that country,” he said.
Representing the organising committee in Lilongwe, Father James Mkwezalamba said the march in the capital city today will start at 9am from Sacred Heart Catholic Parish, also known as Mtima Woyera, close to Lilongwe Community Ground passing through Mchesi Township, Kamuzu Central Hospital and Nature Sanctuary to the Parliament Building where they will deliver a petition.
The peaceful marches will take place while the High Court of Malawi, sitting as the Constitutional Court, is hearing a petition to legalise same-sex relations.
MCC, Muslim Association of Malawi and EAM have also joined the case in the High Court as friends of the court where same-sex relationships’ advocates want an interpretation of Section 153(c) of the Penal Code.