BOTSWANA DECRIMINALISES GAY SEX!

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter
Share on email

Botswana becomes first  African country on the continent to decriminalise gay sex between two consenting adults through its courts.

As we know, more than half of African countries still have laws that make it illegal for two consenting adults to have same-sex relations through colonial era laws that are still in place. Tuesday morning, 11 June saw two of these laws struck down in the high court in Nairobi.

“Reading the unanimous ruling of a panel of judges in front of a packed courtroom, Justice Michael Leburu said that sexual orientation ‘is not a fashion statement’ and that the laws as they stood violated citizens’ rights to privacy and freedom from discrimination. While seldom enforced in Botswana, the laws carried the possibility of up to a seven-year jail sentence,” reports the Washington Post.

The case was brought to court in March by Letsweletse Motshidiemang, a 21-year-old student at the University of Botswana. They argued that “society had changed and that homosexuality was more widely accepted,” according to local media. Whilst there is still widespread homophobia in the country, activists for the gay community have made some advances in recent years, including making it illegal for employers to terminate contracts on the basis of sexual orientation as well as making it easier for trans people to change their gender in identity documents.

Other countries in Africa such as Mozambique and Seychelles have simply erased any mention of homosexuality from their constitutions during reforms, and South Africa remains the only country in Africa to have rights based on sexual orientation written into its constitution.

Today we celebrate with Botswana!

Join our
Mailing List

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd )