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Title:Same-Sex Relationships in Botswana: Current Perspectives and Future Prospects
Author:Quansah, E.K.
Periodical:African Human Rights Law Journal
Geographic terms:South Africa
civil and political rights
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Abstract:This paper examines constitutional challenges to statutes criminalizing same-sex behaviour in three Southern African countries. On the one hand, in Botswana and Zimbabwe, the highest courts found in two cases discussed in this paper that such statutes are not unconstitutional. On the other hand, the South African Constitutional Court invalidated statutes criminalizing consensual sexual conduct between men in private. The main explanation for the difference is the fact that the South African Constitution outlaws unfair discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, while the constitutions of the other two countries do not. However, the paper argues that the courts in Botswana and Zimbabwe could have reached a different conclusion, had they creatively applied a broad and generous interpretative approach. Changes to the status quo depend more on the actions of those affected by these laws than on judicial interpretation. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]