Celebrity News

Kirshner fuming over Malawi's gay rights controversy

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May 17, 2010 | 5:00am EDT

The Black Dahlia star is fuming over reports the two men, Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, were detained after they wed in December (09), because gay marriage is currently illegal in the country.

The pair is reportedly set to go to trial this week (beg17May10) and face up to 10 years imprisonment and hard labour.

And Kirshner, who runs charity organisation I Live Here Projects in Malawi, is disgusted by the way the couple has been treated.

In an open letter published on The Huffington Post website, she writes, "At first, I chose to refrain from writing about this, in fear that my position would risk our whole program being shut down in Malawi - my views are in conflict with the law. I can and will no longer be silent.

"I am angry. I am angry because the right to marry is the choice of an individual rather than a state... I am angry because I know it's hard to find love in the world and no one should ever stand in love's way. I am angry because no one should be asked to have relationships in secret. I am angry that so many are forced into the closets, furthering shame and stigma. What I know is true is that there is no shame in being gay. Love does not understand gender. These two men did something brave. They spoke up and they spoke out."

And Kirshner is urging fans to sign a petition to call for their release, adding: "I ask that the international community of activists, the United Nations, politicians in Malawi and international human rights lawyers speak up and help these men.

"You can take action right now. Sign this petition to encourage the United Nations Human Rights Council and the United Nations Development Program to pressure Malawi to forgo (sic) this trial and release these innocent men."

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