A homosexual couple, Tiwonge Chimbalanga (pictured, right) and Steven Monjeza (left back) were sentenced today to 14 years in prison for gross indecency and unnatural acts in court in Blantyre, Malawi. The two were convicted earlier this week by a judge in this conservative African nation, which also plays host to Madonna several times a year because she now has two adopted children from there, and she's been helping to build a girls' school there with the organization Raising Malawi.

As the AP reports, "Chimbalanga, a 20-year-old hotel janitor, and his unemployed partner were arrested Dec. 27, the day after they celebrated their engagement with a party at the hotel where Chimbalanga worked — an apparent first in Malawi."

So, it would seem this gay couple felt emboldened by gay marriage advancement elsewhere in the world (and perhaps also by Madonna's growing influence in the country), and only wanted to exercise the right to marriage themselves, despite the steep penalties of even public homosexual affection in theirs and 36 other African countries.