Home

Botswana’s Huge Win For LGBTQ Rights In Africa

By Kelsey Marie

Share

Homosexuality is currently illegal in more than 70 countries, with most of those being in Africa. Until today, same-sex relationships in Botswana were a crime which resulted in up to seven years in prison.

In March, a 21-year-old student of the University of Botswana, Letsweletse Motshidiemang brought the case to court to have same-sex relationships decriminalized. His argument was that homosexuality is more accepted in society now and that the times have simply changed.

When the case appeared in court, the ruling was postponed because the lawyer for the state wanted evidence that conservative Botswana had also changed with society.

The trial was postponed until today when the High Court declared an overturn of the colonial-era law which criminalized sexuality.

The rights group, Amnesty International described this decision by the High Court as “marking an exciting new era of acceptance, which should inspire other African countries to follow suit.”

Muleya Mwananyada, the deputy director for the Southern Africa division of Amnesty International says, “with this ruling, Botswana has said ‘no’ to intolerance and hate and ‘yes’ to hope and equality for all people.”


Botswana is the latest country in the African diaspora to decriminalize same-sex relationships, following Kenya’s decision to uphold its law criminalizing same-sex relationships a month prior.

The LGBTQ community in Botswana will feel a great impact with this ruling; having easier access to health and legal services. This also means freedom for many to live their lives in the open without worrying about being criminalized.

This latest ruling isn’t the only strides the LGBTQ community has made in Botswana: in 2010, the Employment Act made it illegal for companies to terminate employees based on their sexual orientation. Also, during a speech in December 2018, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said LGBTQ citizens deserve their rights to be protected.

Although homosexuality is still seen as a taboo in many parts of Botswana, this ruling is a huge win for the LGBTQ community in both Botswana and the African continent.

This ruling adds to the joy of Pride Month for many.

Share
Travel Noire

Kelsey Marie

Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

Best Destinations For September 2019

Best Destinations For September 2019

September means that the joys of summer are coming to an end.  Temperatures are dropping, school is about to begin, and those long summer days will begin to get shorter and shorter. It sounds depressing but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Peak travel time is over which means that September is […]

Parker Diakite

Meet Africa’s Big Five: The Most Iconic Wildlife On The Continent

Meet Africa’s Big Five: The Most Iconic Wildlife On The Continent

Going on a safari is super necessary when visiting the African continent. If you’ve been on one, then you’ve most likely heard the term the Big Five. Prior to visiting South Africa, I had never heard of the term, so when I went on my first safari, it was a very informative experience. The Big […]

Kelsey Marie / Africa

European Museums Considering What To Do With Art Collections Stolen From Africa

European Museums Considering What To Do With Art Collections Stolen From Africa

In the Black Panther film, there were a few heartfelt moments from the villain Killmonger, played by actor Michael B. Jordan.  One of those moments was when the audience was introduced to him as a black visitor to a fictional British museum. He confronts the white museum curator about African artifacts in the museum by asking, […]

Parker Diakite