Time for Swaziland to Follow Botswana’s Lead and Decriminalise Gay Sex

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06/13/2019

Swaziland should follow the example of its near-neighbour Botswana and decriminalise gay sex. The kingdom, also known as eSwatini, has much in common with Botswana. Both were protectorates of Great Britain and have laws relating to homosexuality dating back to that time. They became independent in the 1960s. Both countries have small but active fundamentalist Christian groups that today demonise LGBT people; the media largely ignore them and when they do report they are usually antagonistic. Both countries want people to believe that homosexuality is in some way ‘un-African’. Nevertheless, both want to believe that they are modern societies. Swaziland aims to become a ‘First-World’ country by 2022. The Botswana High Court on Tuesday (11 June 2019) unanimously ruled in favour of decriminalising homosexuality. Judge Michael Elburu said, ‘Human dignity is harmed when minority groups are marginalized.’

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