Botswana’s president vowed Monday to fully implement a 2019 court ruling decriminalising homosexuality, two months after losing an appeal that sought to overturn it. President Mokgweetsi Masisi invited LGBT leaders to his office to reassure them that he would respect the court’s decision and protect their rights. “We demand and expect anybody to respect the decisions of our court,” he said during the meeting with members of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO). Masisi said practical political concerns had motivated the appeal, rather than any negative sentiment toward the community. “We won the elections in 2019, and one of our core promises was enhancing inclusion,” he said. “As you know, we are living in a pretty conservative society, and any serious politician will not risk such a controversy at election time except to make a promise he will enhance inclusion.”
He said he believed that the appeal had allowed Botswana’s people to fully debate the issue.