Home · News

Being Gay In Botswana Is Legal Now

“The state cannot be a sheriff in people’s bedrooms.” — Botswana High Court Justice Michael Leburu

Letsweletse Motshidiemang, a 21-year-old student at the University of Botswana, brought the case before the High Court in March, CNN World reports.

Motshidiemang argued that homosexuality is more widely accepted now and that the inhumane law—which criminalized “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” and carried a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment—has no place in Botswana’s homophobic future.

Botswana’s High Court ruled Tuesday that it’s legal to be LGBTQIA+, finally overturning a draconian law banning consensual same-sex relations, CNN World reports.

The court unanimously ruled that “the legislation was discriminatory, unconstitutional and against the public interest.”

“A democratic society is one that embraces tolerance, diversity and open-mindedness,” Justice Michael Leburu said. “Societal inclusion is central to ending poverty and fostering shared prosperity.”

“The state cannot be a sheriff in people’s bedrooms,” Leburu said.

According to The Guardian, Botswana is regarded as one of Africa’s most stable and democratic nations but homosexuality was outlawed under the country’s penal code of 1965.