Botswana Will Appeal Ruling Legalizing Gay Sex

Above: Activists pose with a rainbow flag as they celebrate outside Botswana High Court in Gaborone on June 11, 2019, after a ruling decriminalizing homosexuality.

Botswana’s government will appeal a ruling legalizing gay sex.

Last month, the country’s high court overturned a colonial-era law that had criminalized homosexuality, with a punishment of up to seven years in prison. The ruling came less than a month after Kenya’s high court decided in favor of upholding its law criminalizing gay sex.

Late on Friday, July 5, Botswana Attorney General Abraham Keetshabe said in a statement that the high court was mistaken in its ruling and pledged to appeal, without clarifying on what grounds.

pride flag Botswana

TSHEKISO TEBALO/AFP/Getty Images

Banners and a rainbow flag are placed on the pavement outside the High Court in Gaborone on June 11, 2019.

“I am of the view that the High Court erred in arriving at this conclusion and thus, I have decided to note an appeal with the Court of Appeal,” Keetshabe said, Reuters reports.

If successful in getting the law reinstated, Botswana would remain one of the 70-plus countries that have laws criminalizing consensual same-sex activity among adults. According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), at least 31 African countries, out of 54, have laws making gay sex illegal. Additionally, it found of 70 UN member states with anti-gay sodomy laws, almost half are in Africa.

Botswana’s high court ruled the law was unconstitutional, saying it violated privacy, liberty, and dignity, was discriminatory, and did not serve the public interest.

“It says to LGBTI the state through its lawyers (attorney general) affirms the homophobic and transphobic laws,” LGBTQ advocacy group LeGaBiBo policy and legal advocacy manager Caine Youngman said in a statement, regarding the planned appeal. “It suggests that the LGBTI’s lives should be determined by the majority which is wrong.”

Journalist, editor, and artist.


Source link