For many Namibians, homosexual conduct is immoral and unacceptable- AG

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

Following public outcry about a statement he made about homosexuality, Attorney General, Festus Mbandeka, says he was merely responding to an affidavit filed in the High Court.

Mbadeka said he was responding to an application filed by Gay Rights, Activist Friedel Dausab, who stressed that Namibian laws promote stigma and the exclusion of consensual sexual acts between men and women.

Mbandeka says the remarks are not his views but rather a response to Dausab’s affidavit. He argues that a majority of Namibians still reject homosexuality and that sodomy laws should remain in force.

“What I said is in response to the affidavit that was filed by the applicant at the court. I don’t see how I can comment on my own affidavit. The matter is already before court so I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to be commenting on it, the public is just receiving it the wrong way” he said.

Mbadeka in the affidavit filed at the High Court said that homosexual behavior is immoral.

“As the applicants accept, for many Namibians, homosexual conduct is immoral and unacceptable. I deny that the mere existence of the sodomy law promotes the stigmatisation of gay men. If these men suffer any stigma it is in consequence of their choice to engage in sexual conduct considered to be morally taboo in our society,” read the affidavit.

Windhoek Lawyer Kadhila Amoomo says government’s stance on homosexuality is homophobic and irrational.

“The homophobic stance of our Government as a matter of policy is irrational and will come back to haunt us one day. People who are gay may be a minority but they are human beings too. Why are they being discriminated on the basis of their sexual orientation? The Namibian gay community is packed with elder people who are highly influential, serving in top positions, educated and extremely wealthy. Why do they not take up their cause and fight the system openly? Why do we only see young kids at the protests? Brave people are needed,” Amoomo maintained.

Same-sex unions are currently not recognized in Namibia . Although the High Court agreed in principle on 20 January 2022 that the marriage inequality faced by same-sex couples is unacceptable. In March 2022 Chief Justice Peter Shivute ordered the Ministry of Home Affairs to re-evaluate the application for residency of Mexican national Guillermo Delgado, married to Namibian national Phillip Lühl.

Despite the narrow scope of the ruling, activist Ndilokelwa Nthetwa welcomed the decision, “The couple themselves, this impacts them and not necessarily for the community, but it is a win in the way that the Supreme Court has recognized that the ministry has abused public policy to treat this couple and their family in a very inhumane and hostile manner,” she said.

Related Posts