By Chris Zumani Zimba
Every time society makes public polices and laws using the mirror of Holy Scriptures such as the Holy Bible, Quran, Vedas or the Tora, the prescribed law does not miss the moral harshness, conservative-ness and puritan nature in its spirit, tone, colour and values of its source. It is against this background that most Christian societies across Europe, North America, Australia or Africa systematically denounced or outlawed polygamous unions in preference to monogamous marriages although there is nothing wrong or evil with the former. However, the advent of democratization and liberalism across the world is now altering the legal values and spirit of the past by prioritizing human rights and fundamental freedoms as opposed to societal religious beliefs or traditional norms. This is what happened yesterday in Botswana.
According to the BBC Africa News on 11th June, 2019, Botswana’s High Court ruled in favour of decriminalising homosexuality in a landmark decision for campaigners.
“Sexual orientation is not a fashion statement. It is an important attribute of one’s personality” Judge Elburu who labelled laws banning gay sex as “discriminatory” concluded. “Human dignity is harmed when minority groups are marginalized,” Judge Michael Elburu said. Three judges came to the decision unanimously.
The case was brought to court by a student who argued society had changed and homosexuality was more widely accepted. The court rejected laws that impose up to seven years in prison for same-sex relationships, stating they were unconstitutional.
The law has been in place since 1965 when it was brought in by the colonial British government. Activists welcomed the decision and described it as a significant step for gay rights on the African continent.
Laws outlawing same sex relations exist in 31 out of 54 African countries, according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).
The move contrasts with Kenya’s recent ruling against campaigners seeking to overturn laws on gay sex.
Source-BBC News: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-48594162
Chris Zumani Zimba is a prolific Political Scientist, Policy Analyst, Author, Blogger, PhD Scholar, Researcher, Consultant, Public Health and Tobacco Control Advocate. Besides being the CEO at Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU) in Zambia, he analyses African politics weekly on Voice of the Cape Town, South Africa every Wednesday at 16:45hours CAT. So far, he has authored more than 10 political and academic books as well as published over 100 well researched articles on African politics and public health. Sometimes, he lectures Political Science-Part Time with University of Zambia (UNZA) and University of Lusaka (UNILUS) outside his usual commitments. Chriszumanizimba.firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; +260 973 153 815 for calls or WhatsApp