In Summary
  • Botswana is regarded as one of Africa's most stable and democratic nations but homosexuality is outlawed under the country's penal code of 1965.
  • Activists are hoping the government will do away with the oppressive laws that brand homosexuality as 'unAfrican'.
  • Angola, Mozambique and Seychelles have scrapped anti-gay laws in recent years.

Gaborone,

Botswana's high court is expected to rule Tuesday on whether to decriminalise gay sex in a landmark case being watched across Africa after Kenya recently upheld its own anti-homosexuality laws.

Botswana is regarded as one of Africa's most stable and democratic nations but homosexuality is outlawed under the country's Penal Code of 1965.

In March, the court postponed a ruling on the issue after an unnamed applicant challenged two sections of the Penal Code under which offenders face a jail sentence of up to seven years.

Activists are hoping the government will do away with the oppressive laws that brand homosexuality as 'unAfrican'.

"If this law is decriminalised it will be a positive thing for the community because it will protect their right to privacy and their right to express themselves the way they feel," Matlhogonolo Samsam from Botswana's lesbian, gay and bisexual organisation (Legabibo) told AFP.

REGISTRATION

Activists launched the legal battle after the Home Affairs ministry rejected an application to register the Legabibo.

For outreach worker Thato Game Tsie scrapping the anti-gay laws would help the community access health care and treatment more easily.

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