Namibia: Court overturns 100-year-old anti-homosexual legislation | EUROtoday

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Human Rights
Court in Namibia declares anti-homosexuality legislation unconstitutional

People in Namibia demonstrate at Swakopmund Gay Pride

For a very long time, homosexuals in Namibia (like right here in Swakopmund in 2016) needed to show for his or her rights

© ZUMA Press / Imago Images

In many African nations, particularly within the east of the continent, politics rigorously suppresses homosexuals. There is now a ray of hope in Namibia – right here the ban courting again to German colonial occasions has been lifted.

The High Court in Namibia declared a colonial-era legislation banning gay relationships invalid on Friday. The punishments for same-sex intercourse are unconstitutional, mentioned the courtroom in Namibia's capital Windhoek. In a democratic society, it isn’t justifiable that an exercise is taken into account prison “just because a part or perhaps a majority of citizens do not accept it,” the reasoning continued.

German “sodomy law” banned gay acts for nearly 100 years

The so-called sodomy legislation, which prohibits sexual relations between homosexuals in Namibia, dates again to 1927, when the previous German colony was beneath South African administration. It had not been modified since independence in 1990, however was hardly ever utilized.

An activist from the Namibian LGBTQ+ group filed a lawsuit towards the ban. Friedel Dausab demanded that every one earlier convictions beneath the legislation be overturned. After the choice, in response to an announcement from the Human Dignity Trust group, he mentioned: “This is a wonderful day for our democracy, our country and our constitution.” Now he now not looks like a prison in his personal nation, “because I am who I am.”

A historic day for Namibia

The London-based organisation praised the courtroom determination as “historic”. “The LGBT+ community in Namibia can now look forward to a better future,” mentioned Téa Braun, Director General of Human Dignity Trust. The English acronym LGBTQ stands for lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender and queer.

The Namibian courtroom's determination got here towards the backdrop of accelerating intolerance in the direction of members of the LGBTQ+ group in southern Africa. Only just a few states have decriminalised same-sex relationships; South Africa is the one nation on the continent the place marriage for all has been authorized since 2006.