Botswana legalizes homosexuality, striking down colonial-era laws
13 June, 2019, 22:45
"People have been hiding", she said, adding that the High Court's decision "can make a massive change for our lives".
Activists are hoping the government will do away with the oppressive laws that brand homosexuality as "unAfrican".
The High Court in Gaborone, Botswana, threw out the country's longstanding ban on same-sex sexual relations Tuesday, setting off celebrations inside the courthouse.
"It was a colonial attempt to set standards of behavior, both to reform the colonized and to protect the colonizers against moral lapses", the report continues.
The changes were made on January 23 when the oil-rich southern African country parliament adopted its first new penal code since it gained independence in 1975 and removed the "vices against nature" provision that it inherited from its Portuguese colonizers. "Its influence stretched across Asia, the Pacific Islands and Africa - nearly everywhere the British imperial flag flew".
A High Court in Botswana has ruled to scrap anti-gay laws that threatened offenders with a jail sentence of up to seven years.
It comes just weeks after Kenya's courts upheld its own laws that punish same-sex relations with up to 14 years in prison, after Kenyan human rights and LGBT organizations filed a petition. He noted that sexual orientation is "not a fashion statement".
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The judges said that sexual orientation is part of the right to privacy. "Homosexuality is another form of sexuality that has been suppressed for years".
28 out of 49 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have retained colonial-era laws penalising same-sex relationships, which are "are a hangover from decades of British rule, with sections inspired by King Henry VIII's Anti-Buggery Act of 1533", PinkNewsreported.
Activists welcomed the decision and described it as a significant step for gay rights on the African continent. The decision has several implications for the LGBT community.
"Not only does it provide legal affirmation and recognition of the rights of LGBTIQ persons, but it allows an important space for addressions public health issues more efficiently and effectively". "We are not looking for people to agree with homosexuality but to be tolerant", the written statement of the applicant said, according to The New York Times. "The real work starts now".
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