Scores of gays and lesbians thronged Lobatse High Court on Friday in a bid to give solidarity to their fellow colleague who has taken the government to task over its reluctance to recognize homosexuals.
The case has attracted much local and world attention.
Cain Youngman, a self-confessed gay activist, perturbed by what he described as discrimination over one’s sexual orientation, approached the High Court to seek remedy over the practice that has become a hot potato even among the country’s leadership whose divisions over the issue has of late been alarming.
The trial, however, did not continue, leaving Youngman and his fellow activists disappointed and disgruntled, because the applicant’s attorney, Monica Tabengwa, needed some time to incorporate essential supplements in her heads of arguments.
“You will be surprised that the case did not last long. We have to include some essential correspondences and, therefore, asked the court to give us some time to file such arguments. That notwithstanding, we thank you for this overwhelming support,” Tabengwa said to the hordes of sympathizers and activists that included some whites who had waited outside hoping to be called inside when the case started being heard.
An icon of democratic ideals in the continent, Botswana’s reluctance to embrace other sexual orientations has attracted much local and world attention with some pundits already arguing the case could dent the country’s image.
Already national leaders, including former president Festus Mogae, have expressed mixed feelings over the issue, having been prompted by incidents of homosexual activities and calls for its recognition in the conservative country.
Mogae, the Chairperson of the Champions of an HIV free generation, has even lobbied for the dispensing of condoms in the prison because it was becoming evident the practice was common amongst the inmates.
Citing fundamental and constitutional rights of a citizen, Youngman argues everyone is free to choose his or her own freedom, including their sexual activities.
“Against this backdrop, we have approached the high court because we deem our country is discriminatory and we want this anomaly to be corrected,” Youngman insisted outside the court.
The case is expected to resume on May 13th.