Botswana latest sub-Saharan Africa country to decriminalize gay sex

Botswana has turn out to be the latest country to decriminalize gay sex, when the Excessive Courtroom on Tuesday rejected as unconstitutional some sections of the penal code that punish same-sex relations with up to seven years in jail.

Activists within the packed courtroom cheered the unanimous resolution within the southern African nation. It got here lower than a month after Kenya’s Excessive Courtroom had upheld related sections of its personal penal code in one other carefully watched case.

Greater than two dozen international locations in sub-Saharan Africa have legal guidelines criminalizing gay sex. Earlier this yr, the southern African nation of Angola additionally decriminalized same-sex exercise and banned discrimination primarily based on sexual orientation.

These arguing in opposition to the legal guidelines criminalizing gay sex say they go away individuals within the LGBT group weak to discrimination and abuse whereas making it troublesome to entry fundamental well being and different companies.

The Botswana-based non-governmental group LEGABIBO, which supported the nameless petitioner within the case difficult the sections of the penal code, has stated such legal guidelines “infringe on fundamental human dignity.”

Tuesday’s ruling led to rejoicing by rights teams that had expressed frustration with the Kenyan resolution final month.

‘Deserve to have their rights protected’

Botswana’s Excessive Courtroom stated in its ruling that penalizing individuals for who they’re is disrespectful, and the legislation shouldn’t take care of non-public acts between consenting adults.

The correct to privateness contains sexual orientation, which is innate and never a vogue assertion, the judges stated.

The ruling additionally cited the current decriminalization in India and elsewhere. It additionally identified all three arms of Botswana’s authorities have expressed the necessity to shield the rights of the gay group.

Forward of the ruling, LEGABIBO shared a remark attributed to President Mokgweetsi Masisi: “There are additionally many individuals of same-sex relationships on this country who’ve been violated and have additionally suffered in silence for worry of being discriminated. Identical to different residents, they deserve to have their rights protected.”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/botswana-decriminalizing-gay-sex-1.5170326?cmp=rss

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