LGBT activists in Botswana fight for gay sex being legalized

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The human rights campaigners in the African country presented arguments in favor of the decriminalization of gay sex in front of the High Court on March 14. The hearing is the latest development in the LGBT activists’ long battle to repeal article 164 and article 167 of the Botswana Penal Code, according to which homosexuality belongs to so-called ‘crimes against nature’, and this category of crimes is punishable up to 7 years in prison. In a statement published ahead of the hearing, the group Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) said that such a law stigmatizes a certain category of Botswana’s population, as they are banned from access to the required services. Their human rights are neglected and their dignity is disrespected, and in a country where such things are happening it is impossible to create a progressive society Botswana moves to, because the main rule of such a society is respecting rights and freedoms of all its members. Tashwill Esterhuizen, LGBT and sex workers rights programme lawyer at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, expressed confidence in the court’s ability to acknowledge LGBT rights and provide an example to other courts in the region.

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