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Botswana Legalizes Homosexuality

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

Africa | Botswana June 12, 2019

The High Court of Botswana on June 11, 2019 decriminalized gay sex hence legalized homosexuality in the diamond rich sparsely populated southern African nation. That was reported same day by various media worldwide.

According to the reports, the high court annulled a law enacted during the country's colonial epoch, that criminalized gay sex, saying the law was unconstitutional. In explaining further it's landmark decision, the court reportedly said discrimination has no place in this world. It continued all human beings are born equal and homosexuality is another form of sexuality.

Amnesty International, one of the vocal opponents of criminalization of homosexuality, is said to have applauded Botswana's decision, calling the decision a rejection of intolerance and hate, and acceptance of hope and equality for all people.

Botswana becomes the 7th African country to legalize homosexuality, joining South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Lesotho, Seychelles, and Sao Tome and Principe.

Why homosexuality is criminalized in many other African countries may not necessarily imply lack of recognition by governments there, of human rights of gays, but rather due to staunch public opposition against the rather controversial form of sexuality. As such, some governments may fear decriminalization of homosexuality may lead to serious public discontent hence political backlash. In Botswana's high court case, for instance, the proponents of decriminalization of homosexuality had to substantiate public opposition against the sexual orientation in the country has changed.

The public distaste of homosexuality in Africa may have exacerbated in recent times due to what many in the continent see as promotion of the sexual orientation elsewhere in the world. It is one thing legalizing homosexuality, and quite another promoting it so that it flourishes!


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