malawi map1 African Nation of Malawi to Decriminalize HomosexualityNo, you are not reading a headline from The Onion: according to BBC News, the southeastern African country of Malawi will repeal its ban on gay sex. In a speech delivered today to the nation’s parliament, President Joyce Banda said that the ban needed to be overturned “as a matter of urgency.” Said urgency appears to be the result of recent pledges by a number of Western leaders to cut aid to countries that criminalize LGBT people and a landmark address to the United Nations by American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton where she called on governments worldwide to respect gay rights because they are human rights.

The BBC reports that overturning the ban will be unpopular with religious leaders and the general public in Malawi, but President Banda has the votes she needs in Parliament to pass the repeal successfully. It will be the first African nation overturn its anti-homosexuality so since 1994, when South Africa did so.

Let’s hope this encouraging trend continues!