Celebrations and Hope for Equality After Historic Botswana Ruling

Botswana is the fourth African country to decriminalize homosexual relations, and the first to do so through the courts. The case removed Section 164 and 165 of Botswana's penal code, which was similar to anti-gay laws in other former British colonies. And while the high court's ruling is widely seen as a victory for gay rights, South Africa remains the only country on the continent with explicit legal rights based on sexual orientation.

The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) and Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) have won their Botswana High Court case targeting Section 164 of the Penal Code. They said the law denies people the right to associate and to express their sexuality.


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