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In the 18th century, the Khoikhoi people recognised the terms koetsire, which refers to a man who is sexually receptive to another man, and soregus, which refers to same-sex masturbation, usually among friends.
Anal intercourse and sexual relations between women also occurred, though more rarely.
In 20, former Botswana President Festus Mogae spoke out against sexual discrimination, saying prejudice was hindering efforts to fight HIV in a country where one in four adults had the disease. "I could not change the law because that would be unnecessarily stirring up a hornet's nest.
I was not willing to lose an election on behalf of the gays.
In July 2019, the Government of Botswana appealed the High Court ruling.
Attorney-General Abraham Keetshabe argued that the court was mistaken in its conclusion in overturning the sodomy law, saying, "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", without giving further details of the grounds for the appeal.
Homosexuality and same-sex relations have been documented among various modern-day Botswanan groups.The lawsuit sought to declare Section 164(a) and 167 of the Penal Code unconstitutional because "they interfere with his [the student's] fundamental right to liberty, freedom of privacy, as well as his right to use his body as he sees fit." However, the Deputy Attorney General, on behalf of the Government, argues that these sections were constitutional because they prohibited certain sexual acts, which may be conducted by those of all sexual orientations, whether heterosexual or homosexual, and thus that these laws do not discriminate based on sexual orientation.Initially, the High Court was supposed to hear the case in March 2018.Moatlhodi said that if he had the power, he would have those who practice homosexuality killed.Moatlhodi further said that inmates should learn that by having chosen to break the law, they were imprisoned and thus were responsible for starving themselves of sex. If we are fighting stigma associated with sex, let's apply it to sexual discrimination in general." He told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that during his 10 years in office, he had instructed police not to arrest or harass gay people.
In 2019, it struck down colonial-era laws banning homosexuality, and ruled that "sex", as defined in Section 3 of the Botswana Constitution, should be "generously and purposively interpreted" so as to include "sexual orientation".