"Really, when it comes to gay rights, there's two wars going on. The first war is political. But the culture war is over."
- Dan Savage
Africa prides itself as a continent that upholds morals and values. It was on these standards that many believed gay rights will never have a place in the continent. If you felt this way in the past, then you need to have a rethink because indeed, the cultural war is lost.
It is surprising how Africa has become the hub for gay rights activism in recent times.
Last month, Kenya was all over the news after the high court in the country upheld anti-gay right laws. It received commendation and at the same time, criticism for the development.
Just when we thought the whole attention on gay rights on Africa was dying down, Botswana takes the lead. The landlocked country in Southern Africa has taken a U-Turn on its previous stance on the issue. Now, gay marriages and activities can freely take place in the country.
A High Court in the country has ruled as unconstitutional, Section 164 of Botswana's Penal Code which criminalized same-sex relationships.
This means that Botswana has decided to joins ranks with Angola, Mozambique, and Seychelles which have scrapped anti-gay laws.
All those who were angered by the Kenyan ruling last month will no doubt have a cause to smile now.
Botswana's High Court has overturned a law criminalizing consensual same-sex relations.
According to the constitution of the country, under section 164 of Botswana's Penal Code, same-sex relations was an offense that carried a maximum sentence of seven years' imprisonment.
The case was brought to court in March by Letsweletse Motshidiemang, a 21-year-old student at the University of Botswana, who argued that society had changed and that homosexuality was more widely accepted, The Tswana Times reported.
In March, the court postponed a ruling on the issue after an unnamed applicant challenged two sections of the penal code.
Botswana joins Angola, Mozambique, and Seychelles who have scrapped anti-gay laws in recent years.
The ruling comes weeks after Kenya's High Court refused to scrap laws criminalizing homosexuality.
You will recall that last month, judges in Kenya declined to decriminalize same-sex relationships, despite gay rights activists saying the law causes "harassment, arbitrary arrest, evictions, limitations on freedoms of association, limitations in access to social services like health and all forms of violence including sexual abuse".
Where do you stand and what do you think of the matter?
Header Image Credit: NPR