Remember Pastor Steven Anderson? The morality instructor who advocates death by firing squad for our webmaster tried to export his hate to South Africa, but Africa’s only country with marriage equality naturally denied him a visa. So he decided the next best thing was to go north to Botswana. He was instantly deported.
It seemed to me that big changes are ahead in Botswana. While checking up on the progress of LGBT rights there, I came upon the local LGBT rights organization: The Lesbians, Gays & Bisexuals of Botswana, or LeGaBiBo.
As for progress, currently, “unnatural” carnal knowledge is a criminal offense in Botswana, but this law is rarely enforced, and quite vague, I might add. LeGaBiBo was twice denied registration by the Botswana government, but the High Court forced their recognition in 2014, and rejected the appeal in 2016, the year that Anderson was deported. In 2010, employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was banned, putting Botswana ahead of the USA in that department! Transgender rights were granted last year. Nearly half of Batswana are okay with gay neighbors, and, as you might expect, the young ’uns are wondering what the big deal is about.
It is now up to the law to catch up.
It is ironic that in Botswana, as elsewhere in Africa, homosexuality is seen as a Western import. In fact, it is homophobia that is the Western import, “unnatural” acts not being criminalized in what is now Botswana until they became a protectorate of the UK. Joining the British Empire on their own terms was actually a shrewd political strategy on the part of the Tswana, but the successor republic is now left with this legacy of colonialism that they don’t recognize as such, but still need to discard.