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UPDATE: Namibian High Court Judge ruled against two gay couples

T.I Ukende
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Guillermo Delgado (left) and Phillip Lühl (right) with their lawyer Uno Katjipuka-Sibolile (centre) Photo: Namibia Equal Rights Movement

Namibia’s High Court ruled on Thursday against two gay couples battling for acknowledgment of their relationships, with the adjudicator saying he concurred with them however was limited by the country’s forbiddance of same-sex relations.

Like Namibia, numerous other African countries actually boycott same-sex contacts, with couples gambling prison and public contempt.

Daniel Digashu and Johan Potgieter had hitched in South Africa, and Anette Seiler-Lilles and Anita Seiler-Lilles in Germany – however the two couples presently live in Namibia.

Digashu, a South African, and German-conceived Anita Seiler-Lilles had applications for a work grant and residency denied separately based of their equivalent sex conjugal status.

In court, they contended that “life partner” in Namibian movement law ought to incorporate same-sex couples or the proviso be announced unlawful.

Judge Hannelie Prinsloo said she concurred yet was limited by an over 20-year-old Supreme Court administering saying Namibia doesn’t perceive same-sex connections. “Just the Supreme Court can address itself,” she said, adding it was about time the constitution reflected social reality

Namibian-conceived Anette Seiler-Lilles said while the choice was disillusioning, it likewise gave trust things could change, and that they would now examine an allure.

“It affected us inwardly,” she said of the trial, adding that she and Anita, accomplices for more than 20 years and wedded for 18, felt victimized.

Ian Southey-Swartz, a Namibian resident and program administrator at the Open Society Foundations-Africa which upheld the couples, said he was crushed with the judgment.

“The current legitimate position has turned me, and numerous others in my situation, into peasants, compelled to pick either our nation and our family,” he said in an assertion.

The case denoted the most recent lawful test pointed toward further developing LGBTQ+ freedoms in Namibia.

In a decision hailed as a major success for gay couples, in October Namibian Phillip Luhl and spouse Guillermo Delgado won citizenship by drop for their child, brought into the world to a substitute in South Africa in 2019.

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