Namibia Decriminalizes Same-Sex Relationships

Namibia Decriminalizes Same-Sex Relationships

As much of Africa remains staunchly opposed to allowing same-sex couples the rights afforded to straight couples, Namibia has recently decriminalized same-sex relationships.

The case brought to court involved a gay Namibian man named Friedel Dausab, who argued that the country’s Immigration Control and Defense Acts which prohibited “sodomy” and other “unnatural sexual offenses” constituted unfair discrimination, infringing upon citizens’ fundamental rights, according to Time magazine.

Court judges found that the laws unfairly discriminated between straight men, women and gay men. “This is good for young LGBTQ people to know that their love is not a crime,” Dausab said following the ruling. “It is a great day for Namibia.” 

The court decision has been foreshadowed by politicians for years. In 2019, the National Council Chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams said “Irrespective of how uncomfortable it is, it is time that we should talk about the LGBTI community. They are part of our communities.” Also in 2019, First Lady Monica Geingos said the days of sodomy laws were “numbered.” 

LGBTQ Nation reported that “Homosexuality has been recorded throughout the history of Namibian culture, and was only formally outlawed as a result of colonial-era laws. After the 19th and 20th centuries, Namibian legislators continued to uphold these laws.”

Related Post