Media Advisory: Botswana – High Court Hearing: Challenging Criminalisation of Same-sex Sexual Relationships

Salc : Anneke Meerkotter

Gaborone, Botswana – On Thursday, 31 May 2018, the Gaborone High Court will hear a case in which the constitutionality of the provisions that criminalise same-sex sexual acts between consenting persons will be challenged. The Applicant seeks an order that continued criminalisation of consensual same-sex sexual relationships violates his basic constitutional rights.

The human rights advocacy group, Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), has been admitted as amicus curiae or “a friend of the court”. LEGABIBO has submitted factual evidence that seeks to demonstrate that continued criminalisation of consensual same-sex sexual conduct perpetuates stigma, intolerance, homophobia and violence against members of the LGBT community. LEGABIBO will argue that decriminalisation of same-sex sexual acts would not only greatly enhance public health—by assisting with treatment, care and education in the fight against HIV in particular—but it will also affirm basic human rights and the diversity of the Botswana nation.

LEGABIBO is represented and supported by Tshiamo Rantao and the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC).

When:             31 May 2018, 9h30 am

Where:           High Court of Botswana, Gaborone before Leburu J

What:             LM v Attorney General of Botswana (an application challenging the constitutionality of sections 164(a), 164(c) and 165 of the Botswana Penal Code)

Issued by: SALC and LEGABIBO