Botswana appeals court upholds ruling that decriminalized gay sex

- Advertisement -


Gaborone – Botswana’s Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a 2019 decision that decriminalized same-sex sex.

- Advertisement -

Monday’s ruling effectively abolished two sections of the Penal Code outlawing homosexuality.

Prior to the 2019 High Court ruling, which was praised by international organizations and activists, engaging in same-sex sex in Botswana could result in a prison sentence of up to seven years.

advertisement

The state argued on appeal that the penal code outlaws homosexual sex and that there was no evidence that people’s attitudes towards homosexuality had changed.

Reading the five-judge unanimous decision, Court of Appeals Judge President Ian Kirby said the criminalization of consensual homosexual activity violated the constitutional rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons to respect, liberty, privacy and equality. .

- Advertisement -

“Those sections have outlived their usefulness, and serve only to encourage law enforcement agents to peek keyholes into citizens’ private spaces and become intruders,” Kirby said.

Members of the gay community, wearing rainbow-colored masks, reacted with loud cheers at the courtroom. Some cried with joy.

“This will forever change the landscape of democracy, human rights and equality in Botswana. Ultimately the state will have no business doing what two consenting adults do in their privacy,” said Sethunya Mosim, chairperson of The Lesbian, Gay and Botswana Bisexual (LEGABIBO ), said outside the court.

“This case has tested Botswana’s democracy and the independence of the judiciary. We can firmly say that Botswana is a true democracy.”

Botswana’s penal code, drafted under British rule, outlaws “the bodily knowledge of any person against the order of nature”. The convicts face up to seven years in prison. It also outlaws “indecent behavior between persons” in public or private, which can be punishable by up to two years in prison.

Government officials were not immediately available to comment on the decision, which cannot be appealed further as it was decided by the Supreme Court.

Follow nbc out Feather Twitter, Facebook And instagram



Credit: www.nbcnews.com /

- Advertisement -
Mail Us For  DMCA / Credit  Notice

Recent Articles

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

Related Stories