Thursday, June 8, 2023

Namibia’s Supreme Court rules against same-sex couple in landmark case

The Namibian Supreme Court has decided to deny citizenship to a child born through surrogacy to a same-sex couple in South Africa.

• March 22, 2023

Namibia’s Supreme Court has decided to deny citizenship to a child born through surrogacy to a same-sex couple in South Africa.

The ruling Monday by the Supreme Court of Namibia overturned a lower court decision that ordered the government to process a gay couple’s citizenship application for their child.

The couple, Phillip Luhl, a Namibian, and Guillermo Delgado, a Mexican, could not get citizenship approval for their child born through surrogacy in South Africa.

A full bench of Supreme Court judges agreed that Luhl and Delgado did not satisfy the requirements of the Citizenship Act in their application.

LGBTQ activists in the country are protesting the court’s decision stating that the judgment is a significant setback for Namibia’s LGBTQ community.

“The family and broadly us in the movement find it as ten steps back,” she said. “We also know that homophobia, biphobia, and trans-phobia will be experienced when the family goes back to Home Affairs because now you have to go back to the person you have challenged in court,” LGBTQ activist Linda Baumann told the VOA. “We also know the frustration of harassment could occur because that is a common practice that happens against us when we try and push or advance our rights in this country.”

Speaking to journalists outside the Supreme Court, the couple’s lawyer, Uno Katjipuka, stated that the court failed to consider the case’s merits focusing only on technicalities.

The LGBTQ community in Namibia has ignited a public debate on what constitutes a family following the court’s decision.

The majority of the population in Namibia identifies as Christian, and homosexuality is regarded as taboo.

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