Several decades ago, same sex relations were taken as a serious offence by the colonial-era section 164 of Botswanas penal code.
According to the code, same-sex relationships were against the order of nature.The code stated that homosexuality should be punishable by between two and seven years in prison.
In a new development, Botswana has now joined South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, and So Tom in decriminalizing same-sex relationship.
According to Global Citizen, Botswana’s High Court decriminalised same-sex relationships in an unanimous ruling welcomed by the LGBTQ+ community in the southern African country and beyond.
Justice Michael Lebutu announced the ruling on Tuesday, said discrimination has no place in Botswana.
A democratic society is one that embraces tolerance, diversity, and open-mindedness,” he said.
He added that continuing to criminalise sexuality and gender identity holds societies back from reaching their full potential, saying: Societal inclusion is central to ending poverty and fostering shared prosperity.
By virtue of one or more of these provisions of the law, I am prohibited from expressing the greatest emotion of love through the act of enjoying sexual intercourse with another consenting adult male that I am sexually attracted to and who is also sexually attracted to me, as consenting adults, he said.
Anna Mmolai-Chalmers, coordinator of the LGBTQ rights group Legabibo said, “This judgement can make a massive change for our lives. This is what excites me the most. The judgement means so much.The court has upheld our dignity, our privacy, and our liberty … It means freedom.
Photo Credit: @legabiboadvo
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