ENTERTAINMENT
05/21/2010 01:39 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Madonna SLAMS Malawi For Sentencing Gay Couple

Madonna has taken to her website to express outrage over a Malawi court ruling that sentenced two engaged men to 14 years of hard labor because homosexuality is illegal in the country.

Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, and Steven Monjeza, 26, were convicted on charges of gross indecency and unnatural acts after their engagement party last year and their lawyer says they will appeal the conviction.

Madonna writes:

"I am shocked and saddened by the decision made today by the Malawian court, which sentenced two innocent men to prison.

As a matter of principle, I believe in equal rights for all people, no matter what their gender, race, color, religion, or sexual orientation.

Today, Malawi took a giant step backward. The world is filled with pain and suffering; therefore, we must support our basic human right to love and be loved.

I call upon the progressive men and women of Malawi--and around the world--to challenge this decision in the name of human dignity and equal rights for all."

Two of Madonna's children, David Banda and Mercy James, were adopted from Malawi and she runs several orphanages in the country.