Lühl’s citizenship court case postponed

Tujoromajo Kasuto

Judgment in the case of a Namibian citizen, Phillip Lühl, against the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security (MHAISS) on the discrimination of the right to citizenship for children of LGBTQ+ parents, has been post postponed to 13 October 2021.

Lühl is requesting the High Court to declare that his son, born in 2019, through surrogacy in South Africa, a Namibian citizen by descent. However, the MHAISS is denying citizenship without proof of genetic linkage. Lühl states that, “the only reason why the Ministry of Home Affairs [is] refusing to accept the birth certificate is the fact that it identifies male persons as the parent of the child.”

This comes after the same-sex couple was in an extended battle with the MHAISS for their twin daughters who were born this year in March through surrogacy in South Africa. In an application, Lühl, Namibian, and Delgado, Mexican, were seeking for an order urging Minister Frans Kapofi, to grant the children travel documents to travel to Namibia. The Judge argued that the court would be overreaching if it were to grant the order.

High Court Judge, Thomas Masuku, on 19 April 2021 dismissed the urgent application by same-sex couple, Lühl, and Delgado, to have their then new born twin daughters, who were then in South Africa, granted emergency travel documents.

The MHAISS Minister had stated it is not backing down from legal challenges currently before courts after it issued travel documents to the twins on 18 May 2021 .

MHAISS Executive Director, Etienne Maritz, had pointed point out that, “the issued travel certificates do not confer Namibian citizenship on the twins and the issuance must not be construed to be a concession on the Minister’s part that the twins are Namibian citizens.”

The travel documents were issued after an application for emergency travel certificates were received at the Namibian High Commission in South Africa on 21 April, after the High Court had refused Lühl and the twins emergency travel documents to travel to Namibia from South Africa.

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