Namibian courtroom overturns legislation criminalising same-sex relationships

A high Namibian courtroom on Friday struck down the African nation’s colonial-era legal guidelines criminalising same-sex relationships, in a victory for the LGBTQ neighborhood.

The excessive courtroom within the capital, Windhoek, declared the crimes of “sodomy” and “unnatural sexual offences” as “unconstitutional and invalid” in a ruling hailed by LGBTQ rights teams.

“We are not persuaded that in a democratic society such as ours… it is reasonably justifiable to make an activity criminal just because a segment, maybe a majority, of the citizenry consider it to be unacceptable,” the judges wrote.

The judgement overturns hardly ever enforced legal guidelines relationship again to 1927, which Namibia inherited from the colonial period however maintained after gaining independence from South Africa in 1990.

“Because of this decision, I no longer feel like a criminal on the run in my own country simply because of who I am,” mentioned Friedel Dausab, the activist who introduced the case.

London-based Human Dignity Trust known as the ruling “historic”.

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“LGBT Namibians can now look to a brighter future,” mentioned its chief government, Tea Braun.

The verdict comes in opposition to a backdrop of rising intolerance in the direction of LGBTQ rights in southern Africa.

While a handful of African nations have legalised same-sex relationships, South Africa stays the only African nation which permits homosexual marriage, legalised in 2006.

The United Nations AIDS program, UNAIDS, mentioned the ruling marked a “significant victory for equality and human rights”.

“This decision… is a powerful step towards a more inclusive Namibia,” mentioned Anne Githuku-Shongwe, UNAIDS regional director for East and Southern Africa.




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