Botswana Gays Win Landmark Court Case

The Botswana High Court ruled Friday that a gay lobbying group could register with the authorities, challenging legislation outlawing homosexuality, the rights group Watch said.

 Botswana's registrar of societies had rejected a petition by Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals of Botswana to register in 2012 on the grounds that the country's constitution does not recognize homosexuality.

 Justice Terence Rannowane said the enjoyment of the freedom of association and expression "can only be limited where such limitation is reasonably justifiable in a democracy."
The ruling added that it was legal for the group to lobby "for equal rights and decriminalization of same-sex relationships."

"The court's ruling is a significant victory for the LGBT community, not only in Botswana but elsewhere in Africa, where LGBT groups have faced similar obstacles to registration," Monica Tabengwa, a researcher with Watch said, referring to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

In Botswana, homosexuality is punishable with up to seven years in prison.

South Africa is the only country on the continent forbidding discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

Source: The New Age
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