Botswana seeks to overturn ruling that legalized gay sex

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07/06/2019

Botswana’s government will appeal a high court ruling that decriminalized homosexuality, potentially resuscitating a law that punished gay sex by up to seven years in prison. Last month’s landmark court ruling, which was praised by international organizations and activists, meant Botswana joined a handful of African countries that have legalized same-sex relationships. But Attorney General Abraham Keetshabe said in a statement late on Friday that the high court was mistaken in its conclusion in overturning the colonial-era law. “I am of the view that the High Court erred in arriving at this conclusion and thus, I have decided to note an appeal with the Court of Appeal,” Keetshabe said, without giving further details of the grounds for the appeal. In June, a panel of three judges ruled that sections of the penal code banning gay sex were unconstitutional as they violate privacy, liberty, and dignity. It also found the ban to be discriminatory and not to serve the public interest.

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