Botswana government appeals gay group ruling


botswana_government_to_appeal_gay_court_rulingThe Botswana government has formally applied to appeal the recent court ruling allowing the registration of the country’s only LGBT rights group.

The Botswana High Court ruled in November that it was unconstitutional for the government to continue to refuse to recognise Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO).

The Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs and the Registrar of Societies had insisted that they could not register the group as the Constitution “does not recognise homosexuals” and because the organisation could be used for an “unlawful purpose.”

While the ruling was seen as a major victory for LGBT Africans, SAPA confirmed on Monday that the government has filed papers with the Court of Appeal to have the decision set aside.

Without legal recognition as an organisation, LEGABIBO faces numerous operational limitations, including challenges in raising funds.

LEGABIBO reapplied to register with the Registrar of Societies shortly after the November ruling but has not received a response.

While gay sex is not specifically outlawed in Botswana, it could be prosecuted under Section 164 of the Penal Code that bars “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature,” with penalties including seven years in prison.

There are no laws stopping gay and lesbian people from identifying as such, from forming organisations to lobby for their rights or barring them from speaking out for equality.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend