NEFF condemns Supreme Court judgment on same-sex marriages

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

The Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) has condemned the ruling of the Supreme Court of Namibia that would recognize marriages between persons of the same sex, concluded outside the borders of Namibia.

The landmark ruling, delivered by a full bench of Judges including Chief Justice Peter Shivute last week overturned a high court ruling from last year, which did not officially recognize same-sex marriages in Namibia.

NEFF Deputy President, Kalimbo Iipumbu , said the Supreme Court alone cannot legislate on this matter.

“It was indeed a majority judgment in that it was passed by a greater number of judges on the bench of the Supreme Court yet it does not reflect the view of the broad spectrum of our society. It is essential to involve the broader public in such significant social and cultural transformations, as they have a fundamental role to play in shaping our nation’s future.,” he said.

He added that the ruling goes against Namibian society’s founding principles,

“The judgment flies in the face of the founding principles of Namibian society which places value on family in its true meaning as a basic unit of society made up of man and woman and their children. It is this key component of our society, kept alive by moral standards which brings together man and woman to procreate and build a robust nation populate,” Iipumbu said.

He said that even though the party understand how critical it is to promote inclusivity and ensure equal rights for everyone, the issue of same-sex marriage is not currently a top priority and it is crucial that we direct our resources and efforts toward issues that have a direct bearing on the welfare and standard of living of our fellow Namibians.

The court also called on Parliament to address same-sex relationships. In essence, marriages contracted between citizens and foreign spouses in other jurisdictions will now be recognized by the Namibian government.

The couples involved in the cases were Daniel Digashu and Johan Potgieter and a second couple, Anette Seiler-Lilles and Anita Seiler-Lilles. Digashu, a South African, and German-born Anita had applied for a work permit and permanent residency but was denied based on their same-sex marital status by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security.

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