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Botswana could decriminalise homosexual acts as the high court discuss amending the Penal Code

In May, gay rights organisations were disappointed when Kenya ruled to continuing criminalising gay sex

2019-06-10

Words: Steve Brown

Botswana could decriminalise gay sex this week.

On Tuesday (June 11), the African country’s high court will discuss legalising homosexual sex just weeks after Kenya ruled to continue decriminalising gay sex.

Currently, homosexual acts are outlawed in Botswana – which is one of Africa’s most stable and democratic nations – under the Penal Code.

But according to The Guardian, an unnamed applicant is challenging two sections of the code which threaten people with a jail sentence of up to seven years.

In May, Kenya’s high court ruled to continue to decriminalise homosexual acts and now gay rights organisations are hoping Botswana will end the archaic laws.

Neela Ghoshal, from the Human Rights Watch group, told AFP: “After an effort by activists to decriminalise same-sex relations through Kenya’s High Court met a bitter defeat last month, all eyes are on Botswana.

“A positive ruling would give hope to an embattled but resilient African LGBT rights movement.

“It would also demonstrate that Botswana takes seriously its commitments to equality and non-discrimination.”