Botswana gays solicit the church’s backing

The Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (Legabibo) are soliciting the church’s backing as their fight with government over recognition rages on, Africareview reports.

 Models pose as a gay married couple.  FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Models pose as a gay married couple. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Legabibo was denied registration for the second time with Botswana’s Registrar of Societies citing the country’s constitution does not recognise same-sex marriages.

The society wants government to register their movement and recognise it in the country’s laws.

On the other hand, government has maintained that registering Legabibo would be illegal because it contravenes section 164 of the constitution.

According to section 164 of the Botswana constitution: “Any person who has carnal knowledge of an animal or permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order nature, is guilty of offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.”

In an effort to contest that, Legabibo has organised a series of meetings with a number of pastors from different Christian denominations.

“The idea is to use the outcomes of the meetings, especially if positive, as affidavit to the courts,” read a Legabibo release.

The society argues that the part that reads ‘sex against the order of nature is’ in the constitution is not clear on whose nature it refers to.
“Is it defined by the president of Botswana or the different religions that we have,” queried Legabibo.

The movement further holds the view that such a law does not have a place in modern Botswana where everyone is protected by the constitution regardless of their religious beliefs and sexual preferences.
Indications are that most Christian bodies will shun them.

Prophet Mogotsi Baloyi of Campus International Assembly in Gaborone said ‘God’s word did not condone gay activities’.

“We are ambassadors for Christ and an ambassador has no opinion; he stands to speak what his government says.

“The United States’ ambassador here in Botswana cannot give his opinions but only what his government says. Coming from that angle, I have no opinion; the only thing I say is what my government says. It says God does not condone homosexuality and lesbianism. The bible says ‘he made them male and female and said be fruitful and increase in number’ which is impossible between a man and another man.”

There was uproar last year when America and Britain, some of the premier donors in the world, threatened to cut aid to anti-gay nations.
41 nations within the 51-member Commonwealth have laws banning homosexuality.

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