Home Court Stories Criminalisation of same-sex activity infringes on our human dignity- LGBT activists

Criminalisation of same-sex activity infringes on our human dignity- LGBT activists

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SEEKING JUSTICE: LGBT activists

The Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) have once again taken the Botswana Government to court, this time seeking to decriminalize same sex activities.

Legabibo is scheduled to meet Botswana Government for another round of challenging the status quo next March 25.

The date was set recently before a full bench of the high court, comprising Justices Abednigo Tafa, Michael Leburu and Jennifer Dube.

Legabibo, through their lawyers, will be challenging the constitutionality of sections 164(a), 164(c) and 167 of the Penal Code.

The disputed piece of legislation that Legabibo seek to challenge, criminalizes ‘unnatural offences’.

The law states that “any person who has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; (c) permits any other person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature….. (167) indecent practices between persons any person who whether in public or private commits any act of gross indecency with another person or procures another person to commit any person with himself or herself or with another person, whether in public or private is guilty of an offence.”

What it means in short, is that homosexuality is illegal.

“We are delighted that the Court has set a hearing date for this really important case, we respect the independence of the Botswana judiciary and we are positive that justice, fairness and human rights will prevail,” said LEGABIBO CEO Anna Mmolai-Chalmers in a press statement this week.

LEGABIBO seeks to advance submissions before court on the practical effects and social impact that the provision has on the lives of LGBT persons, including how it limits their ability to access basic services and infringes on their human dignity.

They are of the view that decriminalization of same-sex sexual activities will be an important step towards advancing diversity of the nation.