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CAPE TOWN — Botswana’s High Court ruled on Tuesday to overturn colonial-era laws that criminalized homosexuality, a decision hailed by activists as a significant step for gay rights on the African continent.

“Human dignity is harmed when minority groups are marginalized,” Judge Michael Leburu said as he delivered the judgment, adding that laws that banned gay sex were “discriminatory.”

Three judges voted unanimously to revoke the laws, which they said conflicted with Botswana’s Constitution.

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