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Botswana Has Officially Decriminalized Homosexuality

The High Court Judges rightfully asked, "What compelling public interest is there necessitating such a law? There is no victim."

Botswana's High Court has officially decriminalized homosexuality in the Southern African country. According to the BBC, after hearing the case of a student who appeared in court along with LGBT advocacy group LEGABIBO, Sections 164 and 167 of the country's Penal Code have been found to be unconstitutional.


The LGBT community and its allies have been rallying for the repeal of several sections in the Penal Codes of various African countries. Just last month, Kenya's High court made the disappointing decision to keep Section 162 of its Penal Code and uphold the criminal status of homosexuality.

Whilst these laws do not explicitly criminalize homosexuality itself, they do outlaw any acts of sexual intimacy between same-sex individuals which effectively amounts to the criminalization of homosexuality as a whole. Under Botswana's now past law, a law that's been in place since 1965, a person could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison for "carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature".

After a postponement of the judgement in March this year, today, Judges Tafa, Leburu and Dube came to the unanimous decision to do away with Sections 164 and 167. They said that, "Sexual orientation is not a fashion statement. It's an important attribute of one's personality. All people are entitled to autonomy over their sexual expression." Judge Leburu also added that, "Public opinion in cases like this is relevant but not decisive. This is about fundamental rights more than the public's view."

This is a just and deserved victory for the LGBT community. Furthermore, it also represents the active dismantling of colonial-era laws which really have no place in any African country.

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Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty.

Michaela Coel Joins the 'Black Panther' Sequel Cast

The upcoming film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is shaping up.

The sequel to the Oscar-winning Black Panther is only due to debut in July of 2022, but the production is well on its way.

The latest news out of the camp is that Michaela Coel, of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum fame, has officially joined the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Her character details are still under wraps but according to Variety, Coel has already joined director Ryan Coogler at Atlanta's Pinewood Studios, where production started in late June.

Coel joins original cast members Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong'o, Florence Kasumba, and Angela Bassett all reprising their roles. Following the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel reportedly chose not to recast the role of T'Challa.

Read: How Michaela Coel's 'I May Destroy You' Makes Space For Black Creators

"It's clearly very emotional without Chad," Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige mentions. "But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud."

Michaela Coel's highly-lauded 2020 series I May Destroy You — which she wrote, directed, produced and stared in — received four Emmy nominations.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for wide release on July 8, 2022.

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