BOTSWANA COURT CASE TO CHALLENGE LEGALITY OF GAY SEX

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03/14/2019

Botswana’s High Court will hear on Thursday a case challenging the decriminalization of homosexual intercourse, offering campaigners a rare chance to argue for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights (LGBT) on a continent where homosexuality remains highly contentious. Botswana’s Penal Code outlaws “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” and those convicted face jail sentences of up to seven years. The case – filed in May 2018 by a gay man whose name has not been disclosed – will argue that the criminalization of same-sex sexual activity limits the ability of LGBT people to access basic social services, increases risks of discrimination and infringes on their basic human dignity. “Botswana is a diverse society and the constitution protects the freedoms and dignity of all persons in Botswana, regardless of whether you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex,” said Anna Mmolai-Chalmers, chief executive officer of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO).

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