Botswanan gay man Caine Yougman will challenge his country’s anti-sodomy laws in the High Court of Botswana.
In an affidavit to the court, Yougman wrote that he was unable to express his sexuality in Botswana because of laws that defined homosexuality as “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” and had to go to South Africa to express that part of his life.
“I have to cross the border to South Africa where my sexuality is recognised and protected by law,” Yougman wrote.
“Sometimes I fear for my safety in South Africa. In fact I was nearly hijacked before. Many times I feel like a criminal when I enjoy my sexuality and I suffer prejudice in the communities when I openly express my sexuality.”
Section 164 of the Botswana Penal Code allows for prison terms of up to seven years for gay sex. Yougman believes this contradicts the Constitution’s non-discrimination clauses.
The affidavit states that a government decision to deny registration to the Lesbians, Gays and Bisexual of Botswana (LEGABIBO) rights group was an aggravating factor in Yougman’s decision to launch the action.