Botswana considers legalising homosexual sexual activity

A court in Botswana will consider if the country’s ban of homosexual sex should be lifted. While it’s not illegal to be gay, it is illegal to have homosexual sex.

Today a court will consider an application that the current laws, which can lead to a seven year jail term, are unfair. An unnamed man has challenged the court arguing that the current laws limit the ability of LGBT people to access basic social services, increases risks of discrimination and infringes on their basic human dignity.

“Botswana is a diverse society and the constitution protects the freedoms and dignity of all persons in Botswana, regardless of whether you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex,” said Anna Mmolai-Chalmers, chief executive officer of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO).

The case was filed back in May 2018, but is being considered today. Advocates for LGBTIQ+ rights are hopefully that it will bring a significant change to the nation’s laws.

Advocates argue that attitudes in the country have changed and note that it is illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of their sexuality when it comes to employment in the country.

Around the world homosexual sexual activity is outlawed in more than 70 countries, almost half of them in Africa. Mauritania, Sudan and northern Nigeria have the death penalty for homosexuality, while there have also been reports of men being executed in parts of Somalia.

In 2013 OUTinPerth spoke to Kagiso Sebeso about his experience of growing up in Botswana

OIP Staff