On Tuesday, Botswana’s High Court ruled to overturn the old laws that criminalized homosexuality, a decision hailed by activists as a significant step for gay rights on the African continent.


“Human dignity is harmed when minority groups are marginalized,” Judge Michael Leburu said, as he delivered the judgment, adding that laws that banned gay sex were “discriminatory.”


Three judges voted unanimously to revoke the laws, which they said conflicted with Botswana’s Constitution. “Sexual orientation is not a fashion statement,” Judge Leburu added. “It is an important attribute of one’s personality.”


The laws had been challenged by an anonymous gay applicant, identified in court papers only as L.M.

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