Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Bostwana’s high court decriminalises homosexuality

Botswana high court has decriminalised homosexuality, in a ruling delivered in Gaborone, the capital city of the Southern African country.

The court ruled that Sections 164 and 165 of Botswana’s Penal Code which outlawed ‘carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature’ was unconstitutional.

“We have determined that it is not the business of the law to regulate private consensual sexual encounters” between adults, Judge Michael Leburu said, according to journalist Ryan Brown on Twitter.

The high court heard the case after a gay man identified only as LM, filed a petition to repeal Section 164.

The 21-year-old student at the University of Botswana argued that society had changed and that homosexuality was more widely accepted, local media reported.

Judge Leburu also ordered the state to pay LM’s legal cost.

The ruling comes just a month after Kenya's high court upheld its laws criminalizing homosexuality.

Out of 54 African countries, at least 32 have enacted laws making it illegal to have gay sex, according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

In parts of Somalia, and in Sudan, it is punishable by death; in Mauritania the death penalty is a possible punishment. In Tanzania, being convicted of having same-sex relations can result in life sentences while in Nigeria the Punishment is up to 10 - 14 years in prison.

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