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. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie

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Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

Inside The Tanzanian Cafe Where The Staff Are All Hearing Impaired

Inside The Tanzanian Cafe Where The Staff Are All Hearing Impaired

Inside Neema Café in Tanzania, you will find that the staff, including the waiters, waitresses, and chefs are deaf. It’s one of the few cafes in the world that allows customers to use sign language to place their orders and to communicate with the staff. Showcasing Deaf Talent Founded by Neema Crafts, the café aims […]

Parker Diakite

Here’s What To See And Do When In Botswana For Four Days

Here’s What To See And Do When In Botswana For Four Days

Located about 5 hours driving distance from Johannesburg is the southern African country of Botswana. This is the land of the Setswana tribe, where everyone is as warm and welcoming as summer weather.  While driving through Botswana, you’ll see lots of cows roaming freely, not paying attention to the locals walking amongst them. The meat […]

Kelsey Marie

Two Hotels In Africa Make ‘Most Spectacular Hotels In The World’ List

Two Hotels In Africa Make ‘Most Spectacular Hotels In The World’ List

Matador Network’s highly anticipated “25 Most Spectacular Hotels in the World” list has dropped for 2020 and this year, the list includes two hotels in Africa. Check out which African accommodations made the list and why. Borana Lodge In Kenya Located in Laikipia, Kenya, Borana Lodge Conservancy is a rhino sanctuary that offers more than looking […]

Parker Diakite