Namibia court declares same-sex acts constitutional

The Namibian high court declared unconstitutional two colonial-era laws that criminalized same-sex acts between men.

The case was initiated by Namibian activist Friedel Dausab, with support from the UK-based Human Dignity Trust.

Following the court’s decision, Dausab expressed joy, saying, “It’s a great day for Namibia. It won’t be a crime to love anymore.”

Although prosecutions under the “sodomy” and “unnatural sexual offences” laws were infrequent, rights activists noted that these laws fostered ongoing discrimination against the LGBTQ community and instilled fear of arrest among gay men.

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Namibia inherited the laws when it gained independence from South Africa in 1990, though same-sex acts between men were initially criminalised under colonial rule.

South Africa has since decriminalized same-sex sexual activity and is the only country on the African continent to allow LGBTQ couples to adopt children, marry, and enter civil unions.

Last year, Uganda enacted one of the world’s harshest anti-LGBTQ laws, which included the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality,” despite widespread condemnations from the West.

In Ghana, many are speaking out against a dangerous anti-LGBT bill. In February this year, Ghana’s parliament passed a bill that toughens criminal penalties for consensual same-sex relations and criminalizes the actions of individuals and organizations that defend the rights of LGBT people.

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