The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) says it is wrong for politicians to say they will hold a referendum seeking people’s views on whether to allow same-sex marriages.
CHRR’s stand comes at a time when most political parties have not come out clearly on whether they support gay marriages.
Some political parties in the 20 May Tripartite Elections have said they will call for referendum to hear Malawians’ views on the issue.
Speaking on Monday during the launch of CHRR magazine Democracy Forum in Lilongwe, CHRR acting executive director Timothy Mtambo said homosexuality is a straightforward human rights issue which does not need a referendum.
Mtambo said: “It is surprising that many politicians say they will call for referendum as the way to end same sex marriages debate. Why calling for a referendum when it is a straightforward issue that same-sex marriages are part of human rights? CHRR does not say Malawians should become gays, but we say let us respect the human rights of every citizens, including gays. Gays are fellow human beings.”
He also blamed politicians for hiding behind referendum, saying they should be clear on their stand. He urged all politicians to promote minority rights as one way of promoting democratic values.
Mtambo said the magazine is the organisation’s advocacy tool which will help Malawians to easily understand many issues about human rights in Malawi.