Home Global News In Namibia, gay parents hope for change in courts

In Namibia, gay parents hope for change in courts

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When Philipp Luhl and Guillermo Delgado went to court in Namibia, they weren’t trying to be activists. The couple, who were married in South Africa, wanted to live with their children as a family in Mr Luhl’s native Namibia.

But as their case and another similar wind through the courts, they are drawing renewed attention to laws that criminalize LGBTQ people – such as the lack of recognition for same-sex marriage. In recent years, similar restrictions have begun to be lifted across the region, and activists are hopeful that Namibia may be next. Those court challenges are, in many ways, a battleground of last resort, advancing public opinion to secure legal rights.

why did we write this

Laws criminalizing homosexuality are common across Africa. But the same change is happening. The matters being challenged may seem narrow, but they are not important.

“When a particular right or type of right is not popular, the courts are often the ultimate guarantors of human rights,” says Nila Ghoshal of Human Rights Watch. Politicians “often find it difficult to do the right thing because they don’t want to vote.”

It was a difficult decision for Mr. Luhl and Mr. Delgado to be in the spotlight. But, says Mr. Luhl, “we decided we needed to humanize these stories and show that families can look like all sorts of things and still be good places for kids to grow up.” “

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Daniel Digashu was not ready to be a symbol. When he brought his case to a Namibian court in 2017, he had a simple request. She wanted them to recognize her South African marriage with her Namibian husband Johan Potgiator, so that the couple and their son could live together in Mr. Potgieter’s home country.

“One of us is from here,” argued Mr. Digashu, “so we must have the option of staying here, like any couple.”

Philip Luhl and Guillermo Delgado weren’t even trying to be active when they asked a Namibian court earlier this year to grant citizenship to their newborn twin daughters, who were born by a surrogate in neighboring South Africa. They were also married in South Africa, and wanted to live together as a family in Namibia.

why did we write this

Laws criminalizing homosexuality are common across Africa. But the same change is happening. The matters being challenged may seem narrow, but they are not important.

But as the cases for both families move through the courts, they have drawn renewed attention to laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people in Namibia. In recent years, similar laws have begun to fall in place across the region, and activists are hopeful that Namibia may be next.

“There’s only so much it can take before they fight back and right now they’re fighting through the courts,” says Uno Katzipuka, a lawyer in Luhl-Delgados. transgender woman.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of knews.uk and knews.uk does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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