U.S. Embassy in Germany hosts meeting with LGBTI activists

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, photo public domain.

The U.S. Embassy in Germany last week hosted a group of LGBTI rights activists from around the world as part of a Trump administration initiative that encourages countries to decriminalize consensual same-sex sexual relations.

Harvey Milk Foundation President Stuart Milk; Caine Youngman of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LeGaBiBo); Hadi Damien of Beirut Pride in Lebanon and Hourvash Pourkian of International Women in Power in Germany are among the activists who participated in a July 26 panel that took place at the embassy in Berlin.

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Botswana High Court to hear decriminalization case in 2019

By : Katlego K Kol-Kes OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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GABORONE, Botswana |N Botswana, the economic jewel of southern Africa, is set to continue its trailblazing social justice track toward legal equality for LGBTQI+ people. While it has taken longer than expected, the High Court of Botswana has set a new date to hear a case which challenges sections of the penal code which criminalize same-sex sexual relations. While the clauses — inherited from British colonial laws in 1885 — are not exclusively applicable to LGBTQ+ persons, their interpretation has caused grave apprehension to full self expression among members of the population who identify as such.

According to human rights organization, LEGABIBO (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual of Botswana), the hearing of the case challenging the constitutionality of sections 164(a), 164(c) and 167 of the Penal Code will be heard before a full bench of the Botswana High Court, comprising of the Honorable Judge A.B. Tafa, the Honorable Judge M. Leburu and the Honorable Judge J. Dube on March 15. The aforementioned sections criminalize “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” and “indecent practices between persons” (whether in private or public) respectively.

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