The issue of legalising homosexuality is not a new issue in Botswana.
It was first brought to my attention around 1995 when a team of two South African Advocates were brought in to Gaborone by Attorney Richard Lyons.
A public meeting was convened at the Grand Palm Hotel (Sheraton at the time) to discuss the matter. I appeared as a member of the public but also as a Principal State Counsel from the Botswana Attorney General Chambers. The purpose of the meeting was to lay a foundation for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Botswana. The key argument brought by Attorney Richard Lyons and
the two South African advocates was to say that homosexuality was a private act between two individuals and not harming anybody. In their view that constituted grounds for its decriminalisation.
In response to their argument I submitted that:
1) Offence against Morality. The offence of homosexuality appeared in sections 164(a), 164(c) and 165 under the category of “Offences against Morality” in the
Botswana Penal Code. It was significant that these offences were listed under that category because:
a) Law & Morality: Law is a reflection of the morality and value system of a nation. Every legal system reflects the value system and morality of that particular nation. I further submitted that the reason why the offence of homosexuality was captured under the category of offences against morality, was because the people of Botswana decided that this was an offence against morality and their culture.
As a sovereign nation, it is the territorial & sovereign prerogative of the citizens of Botswana to make that determination, just as Islamic nations have made that same determination and it has not been challenged by the West.
2) Homosexuality a private act?
Is homosexuality a private act? It cannot be said to be a private act when homosexual acts are currently all over the media and homosexual pride marches and events where people parade their nakedness are increasingly being held in many nations around the world. I also submitted that the offence of homosexuality may start off as a private act between individuals but never stays that way. After pushing for the legalisation of private homosexual consensual acts, it is common cause that the LGBTQ go further to push for their rights to marry and then push for a right to adopt children and to get benefits, such as insurance and other benefits that traditionally derive to spouses. Taxpayers, will therefore be forced to subsidise the lifestyles of homosexuals. What was alleged to be a “alleged” private act now encroaches on the rights of many others. There is no right that is absolute. Rights have to be balanced and when “private acts” start to become public and encroach on other peoples rights, it becomes discriminatory against them. When homosexuals push for the right to adopt children, it begins to encroach on the right of children to be raised by a mother and a father. Credible psychological studies from around the world show that children who do well have been raised with both a mother and a father. Dysfunctional children are usually those children who have only felt the influence of one parent or of one gender.
Private act between two individuals? Homosexuality is not about a private act but carries a clear agenda to liberalise sexual acts. A decade ago the acronym for the homosexual community was LGBT (meaning Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender).
The community is now fully known as the (LGBTQIAAPPN) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Aromantic/Asexual, Polyamorous/Pansexual, Non-Binary.
Community. That tells one that there is a clear cut agenda that goes far beyond any so called private act between two individuals. To demonstrate that there is a clear cut agenda, please refer to this Homosexual Manifesto AN ESSAY ON THE HOMOSEXUAL REVOLUTION by Michael Swift.
This essay was printed in the February 15, 1987 issue of the homosexual newspaper Gay Community News by Michael Swift, and was reprinted in the February 15-21 1987 Congressional Record Link -https://medcraveonline.com/JPCPY/JPCPY-06-00341.pdf
The South African experience
Homosexuality was legalised in South Africa on 30 November 2006.
South Africa has since been on a journey of moral decline. What was initially cited as a private act between two individuals has turned into a campaign against the Church and Body of Christ.
Since then, South Africa has embarked on rolling our CSE, Comprehensive Sexuality Education which sexualises children early and teaches children how to masturbate wear condoms and how to change their gender.
Recently in December, 2002 a draft bill was drawn up to legalise prostitution. There is a clear cut path to sexualise the nation and this is being done in nations with escalating HIV/AIDS and rape statistics. South Africa is currently in the top 3 nations with the highest GBV and rape statistics. It should be implementing the Moral Regeneration Plan it embarked on in 2000 to respond to the degeneration of morals but is not.
Consequences for the church.
In South Africa, the legalisation of homosexuality has had dire consequences for the Church. More and more legislation is being passed and case law is being created to silence and stifle the Church and to discriminate against the Church. In 2008, The Moreleta Park NG Kerk, in Pretoria, had to apologise to a homosexual music teacher they fired over his homosexuality and pay him damages amounting to R87,000. This is a violation of the constitutional right of freedom of religion which is supposed to protect our faith values and beliefs. In Came Town currently, there is an ongoing court case where by the Beloftebos wedding
venue is being sued for denying a homosexual couple the right to “marry” at
Denying a Christian company the right to practise their faith values is also an infringement on their section 15. (1) SA constitutional right that states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion”
When the Church does not approve homosexual lifestyle it becomes a primary target for the LGBTQ group and religious liberty is threatened.
Argument for the Family
The family is the pillar of society. A dysfunctional family means a dysfunctional society and nation at large. African nations have consistently refused to legalise homosexuality due to their pro traditional family stance.
Sovereignty of nations vs Cultural imperialism
Western nations need to respect the sovereignty of African nations. This tendency to bully African nations to adopt their western values using the carrot stick of money must cease. President Ruto of Kenya articulated the position of Africa very succinctly in recent meetings in Europe. Africa must stop adopting a slavery and colonised mentality where it feels it must blindly follow in the steps of its coloniser master and she must start thinking for herself and be intentional, mindful and purposeful about protecting the family unit and her traditional Botho based principles.
For western nations to push their agendas on african nations, is a form of cultural imperialism.
Recent African decisions on homosexuality:
Both Uganda and Kenya, have taken a firm stance against legalising homosexuality. Both nations have made it clear that the citizens of both nations have rejected it’s legalisation and have in fact strengthened their legislation dealing with homosexuality.
The Way Forward
The way forward for Botswana and African nations in general is for the leaders of African nations to be custodians of African family values and protect the family unit.
HIV/AIDS Infection rates have gone down substantially in Uganda and Kenya. Uganda has successfully fought HIV/AIDS by promoting abstinence and faithfulness. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda said Africa must seek African solutions to African problems. Botswana must follow suit and learn from her African family. Botswana is predominantly a Christian nation. The majority of her citizens follow
Christian values and beliefs and the Church plays an important salt and light role in directing the nation. The first line of the Botswana national anthem says “Lefatshe leno la rona, ke mpho ya Modimo. The anthem acknowledges God and acknowledges that the nation of Botswana is a gift given to the people of Botswana by God. The voice of the Church must be heard concerning this matter and lengthy consultations
must be made with the Church and her leaders. Law and legislation reflect the mores and morality of a nation. In any given democracy, the voice of the majority must be heard. Botswana cannot and should not consider passing a piece of legislation that would substantially change the values system and cultures of the majority of Botswana people without having a referendum. There are extensive articles written on the issue of homosexuality by credible and well respected authors. Some of them include Peter Sprigg’s “The Top Ten Harms of Same-Sex Marriage” which the US Administration has ignored; Kathleen Melonakos’ “Why Isn’t Homosexuality Considered a Disorder on the Basis of Its Medical Consequences”; Dr. Charles Socarides’ extensive outline of the deception the APA uses in justifying homosexuality in “Sexual Politics and Scientific Logic: The Issue of Homosexuality”
Dr. Pearl Kupe
Attorney at law