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Botswana celebrates historic decriminalisation of gay sex

Lily Wakefield June 11, 2019
Botswana celebrates the historic decriminalisation of gay sex.

Botswana celebrates the historic decriminalisation of gay sex. (Legabibo/ Twitter)

Botswana’s High Court announced its decision this morning (June 11) to decriminalise gay sex, and people are rejoicing the “life-changing” decision.

Scenes of celebration are flooding social media, after this historic victory for LGBT+ people in Botswana and worldwide.

Anna Mmolai-Chalmers, CEO of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) said in a press release: “It has taken a long time for our community to be where it is.

“This incredibly life-changing decision, although it does not right all the wrongs done to individual members of the LGBT community, is a step towards restoring our dignity as human beings.”

Botswana decriminalisation gay sex
(LEGABIBO/ Twitter)

“The decision has several implications for the LGBTIQ community,” Mmolai-Chalmers continued.

“Not only does it provide legal affirmation and recognition of the rights of LGBTIQ persons, but it allows an important space for addressing public health issues more efficiently and effectively.

“We can finally start building a more tolerant society. The real work starts now.”

Botswana decriminalisation gay sex
(Human Rights Watch/ Instagram)

Human Rights Watch said on Instagram: “Congratulations to all the activists that worked so hard for so long to and stand up for LGBT rights in Botswana.”

Those in the courtroom posted videos of the reaction, with people screaming and hugging, when the decision was announced.

“I am proud that this has happened in my lifetime,” said trans artist from Botswana

A trans artist was quoted by OutRight Action International on Instagram saying: “I am proud that this has happened in my lifetime… Justice will always shine brighter in the light than hate.”

Botswana decriminalisation gay sex
(Outrightintl/ Instagram)

Others on social media congratulated lawyer Gosego Lekgowe who read out a statement by the anonymous gay man who made the challenge to the country’s penal code.

Botswana decriminalisation gay sex
(Cxtiwa/ Twitter)
Botswana decriminalisation gay sex
(Mama_hawi/ Twitter)

According to the press release by LEGABIBO, when announcing the decision Botswana’s High Court said: “Any criminalisation of love or finding fulfilment in love dilutes compassion and intolerance.”

More: Africa, Botswana

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