Activists are calling this a victory for human rights.
Botswana’s High Court has made a ruling which decriminalizes gay sex in a landmark case after Kenya recently upheld its own anti-homosexuality laws.
Like most African nations, homosexuality is outlawed under the landlocked country’s penal code of 1965.
Earlier this year, the court postponed a ruling on the issue after an unnamed applicant challenged two sections of the penal code under which offenders face a jail sentence of up to seven years.
Activists are hoping the government will do away with the oppressive laws that brand homosexuality as ‘unAfrican’. This is coming also at a time when the Vatican announced that there are only two sexes and that the idea of a third sex is “fictitious”.
“If this law is decriminalised it will be a positive thing for the community because it will protect their right to privacy and their right to express themselves the way they feel,” Matlhogonolo Samsam from Botswana’s lesbian, gay and bisexual organisation (LEGABIBO) told AFP.
Activists launched the legal battle after the Home Affairs ministry rejected an application to register the LEGABIBO. Its gay pride month and the recent news according to activists is a victory for freedom of choice and sexual orientation.
For outreach worker Thato Game Tsie scrapping the anti-gay laws would help the community access health care and treatment more easily.
“There are many services we require as gay men that some nurses are not aware of, and if we go to a government hospital there will be those negative comments said to you,” Game Tsie told AFP.
“So we just want to be free to access these services. I think it will be a great disappointment if we lose this,” he said.