Botswana Decriminalizes Gay Sex

A small step taken for equality.

Botswana has decriminalized gay sex in the country, in a landmark victory for the African LGBT+ rights campaigns.

On this Tuesday morning (June 11), the South African country’s high court voted unanimously to rule out Sections 164 and 165 of their Penal Code, which punishes anal and oral sex by up to seven years in prison.

The anti-gay laws have been in place since 1965 and are remnants of the British colonial past, but over the years the country has slowly become more tolerant.

“Any discrimination against a member of society is discrimination against all,” the judges said.

The honourable Jugdes Tafa, Leburu and Dube have agreed that a person´s right to privacy and to choose a life partner is fundamental to each human.

“Sexual orientation is not a fashion statement. It’s an important attribute of one’s personality. All people are entitled to autonomy over their sexual expression,” said Leburu. “A democratic nation is one that embraces tolerance, diversity and open mindedness… societal inclusion is central to ending poverty and fostering shared prosperity”.

This decision will help many to have access medical services without stigma, as Botswana is one of the world’s most HIV-infected countries.

Botswana decided to change its Penal Code in response to Kenya continuing criminalising homosexuality, and to follow Angola in becoming inspiration to other African countries to change their Penal Codes.

Cover photo by : TSHEKISO TEBALO

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Miguel Soromenho

Miguel Soromenho

Miguel Soromenho Pereira is a Portuguese guy, born in November… a scorpion. Lives in Oeiras and studied Architecture and Game Development. Likes to play videogames, meditate, practice yoga and go to the gym. Works as Executive Director of Pois since January 2019.

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