Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Botswana decriminalises homosexuality

Botswana's High Court has ruled that colonial laws outlawing homosexuality are unconstitutional:

High court judges in Botswana have ruled that laws criminalising same-sex relations are unconstitutional and should be struck down, in a major victory for gay rights campaigners in Africa.

Jubilant activists in the packed courtroom cheered the unanimous decision, which came a month after a setback in Kenya when a court rejected an attempt to repeal similar colonial-era laws.

“Human dignity is harmed when minority groups are marginalised,” Justice Michael Leburu said as he delivered the judgment. “Sexual orientation is not a fashion statement. It is an important attribute of one’s personality.”


“A democratic nation is one that embraces tolerance, diversity, and open-mindedness … societal inclusion is central to ending poverty and fostering shared prosperity … The state cannot be a sheriff in people’s bedrooms,” Leburu said.

Good. And hopefully this ruling will be echoed in other countries suffering under the homophobic legacy of British colonialism.