The Government of Botswana has announced it will seek to overturn the decriminalisation of homosexuality by the country’s High Court.

The court struck down the ban in a landmark ruling on June 11, finding two colonial era laws that criminalise consensual same-sex behaviour to be unconstitutional, discriminatory and not in the public’s interests.

Section 164 of Botswana’s Penal Code gave a maximum seven years of prison to those found guilty of “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature,” while Section 167 stated that anyone found guilty of “acts of gross indecency” could be sentenced to two years in prison.

“A democratic society is one that embraces tolerance, diversity, and open-mindedness,” Justice Michael Leburu said in his ruling in June.

“Societal inclusion is central to ending poverty and fostering shared prosperity.”

On Friday, Botswana’s Attorney-General Abraham Keetshabe said the government felt the High Court was mistaken overturning the laws.

“I am of the view that the High Court erred in arriving at this conclusion and thus, I have decided to note an appeal with the Court of Appeal,” Keetshabe said in a press statement.

If the appeal is unsuccessful, Botswana will join South Africa, Angola, the Seychelles, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, and Lesotho in the club of African countries that do not criminalise LGBTQI people.

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