Homosexuality in Botswana
In Botswana homosexuality is considered an ‘un-natural tendency’ and one can get up to seven years imprisonment. Acts of gross indecency are also punishable according to the law. Although homosexual acts are illegal (prosecution of such acts is rare) just being a homosexual is not illegal and we do not see people getting stoned like in other countries. The Botswana Penal Code makes those found guilty of ‘carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature’; ‘carnal knowledge of an animal’; or ‘permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature,’ is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years (Republic of Botswana 1986). National Peace Corps Association
Homosexuality exists in Botswana but not with the same level of acceptance as in the United States. Because of cultural norms, homosexual Volunteers may discover that they cannot be open about their sexual orientation and have to serve for two years without revealing to their community that they are gay. Homosexual or bisexual Volunteers may also serve for two years without meeting another homosexual or bisexual Volunteer. Lesbians, like all American women, are likely to have to deal with constant questions about boyfriends, marriage, and sex, while gay men may have to deal with machismo: talk of sexual conquests, girl watching, and dirty jokes. Gays of Botswana; Facebook page with 3,380 followers.
Description; This is a page for all the gay and bi people from Botswana. This is your spot. Proud or closetted, it don't matter. We still love you. This is the page to be. Posts are about international and national homosexuality headlines, members look for partners they also post about their insecurities and other issues e.g Gay men and sexual labels. ‘‘Sexual labelling is commonplace, amongst all gay men, but black gay men seem to take it to another level. These days we have TOPS, TOTAL TOPS, ORAL TOPS, VERSATILE TOPS, VERSATILE, VERSATILE BOTTOMS, BOTTOMS, TOTAL BOTTOMS and all kinds of deranged derivatives thereof. I say deranged, because most of the time African gay and bisexual men refer to themselves, using their label du jour, they are lying’’
1st Anti-gay law challenge in Botswana
On February 25, 2011 an historic event happened when the Botswana Human Rights organization (BONELA) and the Botswana LGBT organization (LeGaBiBo) filed a law suit in High Court against the government claiming the law criminalizing homosexual behavior is unconstitutional. The newspaper Botswana Gazette on February 23, 2011 ran a full front page story headlined ‘Gays Sue Government’ covering the press conference by Bonela announcing the legal challenge. (photo left) Bonela director Uyapo Ndadi, (pictured) spearheading the effort, along with LegaBiBo, said human rights should not be subjected to narrow personal or religious views. All citizens are equal or they are not. In their separate press statement, quoted above, LeGaBiBo challenged politicians who advocate homophobia as a cynical distraction from larger issues such as HIV and poverty. How people look at homosexuality
Minister of Labour and Home Affairs Peter Siele.. “I am not aware of any group of homosexuals…as a parent I would find it difficult to go around Kgotla meetings advocating for legalization of such things.” Former president of Botswana Festus Mogae, expressed his concern that HIV infection rates in prisons are being ignored. “if men go to prison without the virus and come out infected, then we should take interest in that… men having sex within–in and out of prison–is not a fact that can be ignored. It is not my interest whether this is a legal or illegal activity because the main goal is to prevent new infections in the country.” "I don't understand it (homosexuality). I am a heterosexual," Mr Mogae told the BBC. "I look at women. I don't look at other men. But there are men who look at other men. These are citizens." Parliament member Pono Moatlhodi made known his irrational biblical homophobiic views “condemning homosexuals, maintaining they will do little to help efforts combat HIV in prisons…I don’t like those people and will never tolerate them.” President Robert Mugabe has spoken about homosexuals as being "worse than pigs or dogs". Botswana's current president, Ian Khama, has remained largely silent on the subject, saying he's happy provided "they do it behind closed doors". The Assistant Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Olifant Mfa, has said homosexuality is rubbish and he doesn't think that the Government of Botswana would condone it despite calls to accommodate it in the Constitution. Speaking in an interview with The Gazette, Mfa said there has been a lot of debate about the issue of gays and lesbians. "It is barbaric, whether you argue it from the perspective of religion or culture," he said. In April 2011 Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Ramadeluka Seretse invited LEGABIBO to address kgotla meetings in his constituency to introduce his NGO's mandate and possibly gauge if Batswana would be open to the idea of legally accepting same sex relationships. Testimonials from the gay community
“People usually weren’t bothered by me being different. If someone teased me I teased them back. I have a fast tongue. But as a culture we don’t bother others; even though I was obvious it wasn’t’ a big deal in school. It would have been ten years ago but not now.” ‘’of course you always have to be aware of where you are and who is there. I don’t take foolish risks and avoid unsafe situations. We don’t have gay bashing here generally but some drunks may become hostile in the right situation or feel provoked if a gay guy is too flaming or too ‘out’. Personally I don’t like to see gay guy being flamboyant or in your face. It’s risky and unnecessary’’
Chat with ✽ONEH✽̈ on 13/8/2013
Are you openly gay?
When did you come out?
After secondary school! It wasn't an easy thing to do then there I met a lot of guys at High school who lived the same life as me! Being Gay, then I started understanding that its jus how we are born and we are no different from others! It only differs that Straight are attracted to people of the Opposite sex and we as gay people are attracted to people of the same sex!
Ever been discriminated against?
I must say I don't know whats on peoples minds, of which I don't care! The only person who showed discrimination was some guy way back at a drinking spot calling me gay but the guy ended up warming up to me then later kissed me out of the Blue! Now I don't know what happened! His group knew he hated gays but then at the same time he wanted to do something with me. Just being Gay and behaving like a Man is acceptable here, you’ll only get discriminated against if they see you dressed girlish or acting like one thats when people get irritated.
Do you feel people need to treat you in a special way because of your sexual orientation? ✽̤̥̈̊ONEH✽̤̥̈̊
No not at all, what's so special about being Gay? am just an ordinary person like any other so I don't see a reason why i should be treated Special! The only thing that I feel I should be treated with is Respect and People minding their own business! No one should be dictated on what to do in their Bedrooms! what happens there is non of their business! That's why Barak Obama say he looks down upon of every leader who denies gay people full rights as any other Hetero being!