The High Court of Botswana is hearing evidence that could end ban on gay sex

rainbow riots pressThe High Court of Botswana is currently hearing evidence in a case that seeks to overturn the ban on consensual gay sex. The case was brought against Botswana’s Attorney General, Abraham Keetshabe, by a man only identified as LM.

LM argues that parts of the penal code that criminalise “unnatural offences” and “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” violate his constitutional rights. The rights that he argues the current laws violate are his right to “equal protection of the law and freedom from discrimination, the right to liberty and the right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment.”

LEGABIBO, an LGBTQ group that operates in Botswana will present evidence the case. In a statement, they said: “LEGABIBO would present factual and legal evidence that will assist the Court in making its determination.

“This evidence seeks to demonstrate that continued criminalization of consensual same-sex sexual conduct perpetuates stigma, intolerance, homophobia and violence against members of the LGBT community.

“Moreover, decriminalization would not only greatly enhance public health by assisting with treatment, care and education in the fight against HIV in particular but it will also affirm basic human rights and the diversity of the Botswana nation.”

It is not yet known when the High Court is expected to make its judgement. Kenya is also currently hearing arguments which are seeking to decriminalise gay sex in the country. The court was expected to return its judgement on April 26, but it has failed to do so, and a date for their announcement has not been made.

And although gay sex is still illegal in Botswana, the country has had some wins for the LGBTQ community. Back in 2016, the anti-LGBTQ preacher, Steven Anderson decided to travel to Botswana after he was denied entry to South Africa because of his hate-filled sermons.

Despite getting to the country, Anderson was subsequently declared a “prohibited immigrant” and was deported.

Currently gay sex is illegal in some African countries, and those found guilty can face up to seven years or more in jail.