Trans man in Botswana wins High Court battle to be recognized as male

Trans man in Botswana wins High Court battle to be recognized as male

After a 10-year legal battle, a trans man in Botswana will now be legally recognized as a male.

The Botswana High Court ruled that the man’s constitutional rights had been violated when he wasn’t recognized as male.

The man who could not be identified for legal reasons said the court ruling was ‘an immense relief’.

“I am hopeful that other persons who find themselves in a similar situation will be dealt with in a more respectful manner when they apply for new identity cards,” he wrote in a statement.

In his judgment, High Court Justice Godfrey Nthomiwa said the government had violated the plaintiff’s rights. The rights violated were to dignity, privacy, freedom of expression, equality and freedom from discrimination and inhumane and degrading treatment.

The man’s lawyer, Tshiamo Rantao, said the ruling was great news for the trans community. He said it could help another case currently being brought her by the court, a case about trans woman and advocate, Tshepo Ricki Kgositau, changing her official documents to female.

“This is great victory for the transgender community because many more have been fighting the gender marker battle for years,” Rantao told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Surely the judge who will be presiding over Kgositau’s case will have to refer to this judgment.”

While consensual homosexual sex is illegal in Botswana, it is not illegal to be attracted to someone of the same sex. In 2014, LGBT advocacy group Legabibo won a historic case, in which the High Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to block the group from being allowed to register.

The same year, Botswana also backed a call by the African Union’s highest human rights body to protect the human rights of LGBTI people. The country also has an employment law protecting people from workplace discrimination due to sexual orientation.

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3 Comments

  1. Mandy
    October 07, 09:30 Reply

    Botswana is not one of Africa’s giants, but it sure is taking giant strides for humanity.
    Way to go. Keep setting an example for your hateful African sister nations.

  2. Human
    October 09, 11:41 Reply

    They must have really hardworking MGMs

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