Botswana has seen a steady rise in progressive decisions on the rights of LGBTI
persons. Most markedly, in a unanimous decision poised to set the pace for
juridical recognition of LGBTI rights in Africa, the Botswana High Court
decriminalized same-sex sexual practices between consenting adults in private.1
The Court in Letsweletse Motshidiemang v Attorney General, determined that the
‘regulation of conduct deemed indecent, done in private between consenting
adults, is a violation of the constitutional rights to privacy and liberty’. In
another landmark ruling, the Botswana Court of Appeal affirmed the constitutional
rights of LGBTI persons to assembly, association and expression and
asserted that equal protection of the law extended to everyone without distinction.
Similarly, in ND v Attorney General (the Gender marker case), the High
Court found that a refusal by the Registrar of National Registration to change
the gender marker on a transgender (trans) applicant’s identity document had
interfered with his constitutional rights. This was a momentous decision that
allowed trans people to alter their official identity documents to align them
with their experiences of gender (legal gender recognition).