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State determined to criminalise same-sex relationships

State Determined To Criminalise Same-Sex Relationships
SEEKING JUSTICE: Activists at the last High Court sitting

AG challenges high court ruling

In their relentless efforts to have same-sex relationships declared a crime, the Attorney General’s Chambers, will on October 12th, attempt to convince the Court of Appeal (CoA) to overturn a landmark High Court ruling that proclaimed recognition of same-sex sexual intimacy.

In the June 11th, 2019 ruling- High court judge Michael Leburu, determined in a 123-page judgment that: “It is not the business of the law to regulate private consensual sexual encounters with two consenting adults. The same applied to issues of privacy and or indecency between consenting adults.”

Leburu further stated: “The time has come that private same sexual intimacy between adults must be decriminalised, as it is hereby proclaimed.”

Now Government is challenging the high court’s decision.

In the grounds of appeal,the Attorney General is of the view that the high court erred in finding that, “There existed evidence upon which to conclude that circumstances had changed sufficiently to undermine and justify the decision of the court of appeal in the Kanane-Supra case.”

“The court below erred in, with respect, in severing and excising the word private from Section 167 of the penal code cap,” Government’s appeal further reads.

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Government further appeals that the June, 11, 2019 Judgment decriminalising same-sex relationships be set aside with costs.

The case was filed back in May 2018, by one Letsweletse Motshidiemang supported by the Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) organization arguing that the criminalisation of same-sex sexual activity limits the ability of LGBTQI+ people to access basic social services, increases risks of discrimination and infringes on their basic human dignity.

This is despite President Mokgweetsi Masisi signalling support to the LGBTQI+ community having been quoted saying: “There are also many people of same-sex relationships in this country, who have been violated and have also suffered in silence for fear of being discriminated. Just like other citizens, they deserve to have their rights protected.”

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