Gay activist hits back at Venaani

Stefanus Nashama

Gay activist, Wendelinus Hamutenya, last week hit back at the leader of the official opposition, McHenry Venaani, by saying that they do not need permission from the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) for same-sex marriages to be recognized.

Hamutenya stated that Venaani should first get rid of the members of parliament who are part of the LGBTQI+ community. However, he did not mention any of the Parliament member who is part of the LGBTQI+ community.

He added that politicians should respect their existence and the ruling of the Supreme Court.

“This is the time for us to speak up now and tell the politicians that we are no longer going to be bullied in this country.

They should get their facts straight. We are Namibians and we are the voters. They must respect the existence of the LGBTQI+ and the judgment of the supreme court,” emphasized.

Hamutenya understands that no one should have the power to choose what one should do with his or her body.

He also mentioned that politicians know exactly that even some members of Parliament are part of the LGBTQI+ while hiding behind doors.

Politicians should treat us with respect, and they should never forget that we also have the right to reject them and vote them into power if they cannot respect us, he said.

Hamutenya said he has noted hate speeches coming from politicians when it comes to LGBTQI+.

He urged that politicians should rather pay attention to addressing issues affecting the nation, such as rape, poverty, and unemployment among young people, the revival of the economy, criminal activities and many other issues facing the country.

This comes after Venaani, last week said although PDM defends the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and intersex (LGBTI+) community; the party will not support the formalisation of same-sex marriages in the country.

Venaani made the remarks last week while expressing his views regarding same-sex marriages and what he makes of the recently passed anti-gay bills in the country.

This year, the Supreme Court made a ruling recognising same-sex marriage concluded outside Namibia.

However, the National Assembly this month passed private bills from Swapo’s Member of Parliament, Jerry Ekandjo, to amend the Marriage Act of 1961 and define the term spouse.

Venaani stressed that although the party does not support the legalisation of same-sex marriages in the country, degrading remarks made against the LGBTI+ community are unnecessary.

He said PDM held a policy conference in 2021 at Otjiwarongo where a decision was made after divergent views were expressed within the party regarding whether to or not support the LGBTI community.

The policy conference took a decision to protect the rights of LGBTI+ so that they are not persecuted in the country.

However, we are not going to support the formalisation of same-sex marriage. That is the policy position that we expounded on in 2021,” Venaani remarked.

He also mentioned that the party do not support the clauses of Jerry’s bills that were passed in parliament.

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