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Gay rights debate heats up

2021-05-21  Aletta Shikololo

Gay rights debate heats up
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LGBTQI activist Ndiilo Nthengwe has called on government to urgently address “entrenched misogyny and religiosity”, and the way sexual minorities are treated so that they can be protected legally.

“We also call on the Ombudsman’s office to react to hate speech, and condemn this kind of statement,” she told New Era yesterday. Nthengwe was reacting to a statement by the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL), which said they were “sickened by the discussion of homosexual in the August House which supersedes as
matters of urgency” [sic].

The governing party’s youth wing also declared homosexuality satanic and demonic, and instructed government to instead concentrate on bread and butter issues.

“We would like to express our dissatisfaction on the prioritising of motions/bills in the National Assembly (Parliament),” read the statement from SPYL. On Monday, the Law Reform and Development Commission’s deputy chairperson Etuna Josua handed the Repeal of Absolute Laws and the Abolishment of the Common Law Offences of Sodomy and Unnatural Sexual Offences’ reports to the justice ministry. 

Receiving the reports, justice minister Yvonne Dausab said she would soon have the opportunity to present the two reports before Cabinet, stating that it is time to start the conversation, particularly on the sodomy law, which is outdated. 

While LGBTQI campaigners continue the fight for more equal treatment in the eyes of the law and society, the home affairs ministry has also reversed an earlier decision and granted permission to a same-sex couple to bring their twin daughters home to Namibia.

In April, the couple was denied permission to bring the twins to Namibia due to a lack of DNA results as proof of paternity.

Maya and Paula were born via surrogacy to Namibian Phillip Lühl and his husband, Guillermo Delgado, on 13 March in Durban, South Africa.

Yesterday, activists in Windhoek took to the streets to march for equality ahead of a scheduled court case seeking to recognise same-sex marriage.

The courts have received various applications from Namibians who want their same-sex unions declared legal.

– ashikololo@nepc.com.na


2021-05-21  Aletta Shikololo

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