Young Gays and Lesbian applaud call for legalization of homosexuality
Young closet homosexuals who have been quietly supporting the gay rights campaign have welcomed the recent call by former President Festus Mogae’s to legalize prostitution and homosexuality with excitement.
The young people interviewed by The Voice at a popular gay hangout spot in Gaborone, challenged ‘powerful and influential’ homosexuals to come out of the closet in order to lend some weight to their course.
Describing the Gaborone gay community as a ‘big connected family,’ Kenosi Mosie a 23- year- old lesbian said: “We are like a big family. The only problem is that some of the powerful gay people we know don’t want to come out of the closet and let the public know who they really are. And those are the people who could be helping the course.”
Gomolemo Leatile, a gay man from Mochudi and his partner,Kago Ngwapa (both 25) from Sefhare said that since president Mogae’s open support for the legalisation of homosexuality they have been feeling a bit more confident to express their affection for each other in public, without fear of vitimisation.
“Although we have not discussed it formerly, my family knows that I am gay and that Ngwapa is the only person I bring home. But I have had to change most of my friends because when I came out to them recently they were not willing to accept my status,” he said.
Ngwapa on the other hand has formerly told his family that he is gay and even introduced his partner to them officially.
“They accepted me and told me that they realized that I was was going to be someone different and special at a very young age and had waited for me to break the news to them all this time,” he said.
Yet another 23-year- old young woman from Mahalapye who recently broke off a marriage engagement to a man to be with another woman said she was eagerly looking forward to legalisation of homosexuality so that she could marry the woman she loves.
“ If the legalisation does not happen soon, I’ll be prepared to cross over to SA to tie the knot,” she said.
Meanwhile Botswana Network on Ethics Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA)’ Director, Uyapo Ndadi has said that they were in the process of registering a civil court case against the government to force it to remove statutes which are discriminating and undermining Gay and Lesbian’s rights.
He said that as BONELA they will continue to lobby for gay rights and encouraged supporters and sympathizers to continue the campaign in peace.
“We are continuing with the public campaign to create awareness for Batswana to be ready for homosexuals,” said Ndadi who went on to reveal that there were
many homosexuals in Botswana who were still in the closet, but with Britain stance not to offer finacial assistance to any country that does not support gay rights, he hopes that the country will act swiftly to legalise homosexuality.