LGBT rights in Namibia

Namibia has had a troubled history in regards to the protection of the rights and civil liberties of LGBT citizens. Sodomy is illegal in Namibia, and is punishable with prison time. Furthermore, statements by government leaders, such as Sam Nujoma and Jerry Ekandjo concerning gays and lesbians have drawn both domestic and international condemnation.

However, pro-gay rights groups, such as Sister Namibia and Rainbow Project, operate freely in Namibia’s major cities, even though they have been frequented by anti-gay attacks since independence in 1990. There is no information on the history of the LGBT citizenry prior to 1990.

LGBT rights in Namibia

citizens. Sodomy is illegal in Namibia, and is punishable with prison time. Furthermore, statements by government leaders, such as Sam Nujoma and Jerry Ekandjo, concerning gays and lesbians have drawn both domestic and international condemnation.

However, LGBT rights groups, such as Sister Namibia and Rainbow Project, operate freely in Namibia’s major cities, even though they have been frequented by anti-gay attacks since independence in 1990. There is no information on the history of the LGBT citizenry prior to 1990.

LGBT rights in Namibia

citizens. Sodomy is illegal in Namibia, and is punishable with prison time.

Mr. Gay Namibia Highlights Gay Rights Issues

Namibya’da LGBT hakları – LGBT rights in Namibia

Namibya’daki lezbiyen, gey, biseksüel ve trans LGBT ) kişiler, olmayan sakinlerin deneyimlemediği yasal zorluklarla karşı karşıya . cinsel yönelim ve cinsiyet kimliğine dayalı ayrımcılık yasaklanmamaktadır ve aynı cinsten çiftlerin yönettiği haneler, karşı cinsten çiftler için geçerli olan aynı yasal korumalardan yararlanma hakkına sahip değildir. Bununla birlikte, Namibya LGBT vatandaşlarının yaşadığı yasal haklar olmamasına rağmen, LGBT bireylerin kabulü ve hoşgörüsü çoğu Afrika ülkesinden çok daha yüksektir.

Namibya’daki LGBT insanlar için iklim son yıllarda hafifledi. Ülkenin önde gelen LGBT savunuculuk grubu, Mart 2010’da kurulan ve Kasım 2010’da resmen tescil edilen OutRight Namibia’dır. Namibya’nın ilk gurur geçitlerini düzenledi ve „Namibya’daki lezbiyen kadınlar, gey erkekler, biseksüeller ve transseksüel ve interseks kişilerin sesi olmayı hedefliyor. „. Diğer LGBT grupları arasında, gey ve biseksüel erkekler için cinsel sağlık konusunda farkındalık sağlayan MPower Community Trust, LGBT kişilere danışmanlık ve tavsiye sağlayan ve LGBT Namibyalılar, Tulinam, bir LGBT olan Tulinam hakkında farkındalık yaratmak için eğitim programları düzenleyen Namibya Geyleri ve Lezbiyen Hareketi bulunmaktadır. inanç temelli grup ve transseksüel bir grup olan Wings to Transcend Namibia.

We’re Namibia’s first gay married couple: any questions for us?

Ricardo Amunjera and Marc Themba are a happily married gay couple living in Namibia, where homosexuality is against the law. Relive the best bits of our live Q&A

Ricardo Amunjera and Marc Themba are credited with being Namibia’s first gay married couple. Though homosexuality is criminalised in Namibia, the pair tied the knot in South Africa and returned to Namibia to become prominent LGBT rights campaigners.

Amunjera, 31, says he believes „the best way you can help somebody is by telling them your story“. His activism has earned him the title of Mr Gay Namibia 2013 and is he is the process of setting local support group in his home town, joining a countrywide support network for LGBT. His work is not without its risks; another winner of the Mr Gay Namibia title, Wendelinus Hamutenya, was attacked as he walked home days after winning the competition. According to the rights group OutRight Namibia, LGBT people in Namibia encounter homophobia and transphobia on a daily basis.

In a film about their livesInternational HIV/Aids Alliance and Positive Vibes, the couple discuss their activism, their religious beliefs and their experience of conducting a loving relationship in a country where being gay is against the law. It also shows Amunjera fielding calls and texts, and using social media, to answer questions and comments from people seeking support around the country.

Amunjera and Themba will join the Guardian Africa Network for a live Q&A from to answer your questions about living as an openly gay activist in Namibia. What would you like to ask? Post your questions in the comments below.

Where is it illegal to be gay?

Even where homosexuality is legal, many countries treat those in same-sex relationships differently, such as having an unequal age of consent or a ban on marriage. In Russia, host of the Sochi Winter Olympics, a law banning the promotion of „non-traditional“ sexuality to under-18s was introduced last year.

So, where is it illegal to be gay? Which countries allow same-sex marriages? Explore the map of UN member states below to find out.

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association

Days after Wendelinus Hamutenya was crowned the first Mr. Gay Namibia, he was attacked last week on his way home. Hamutenya was assaulted in Windhoek, Namibia last Sunday, and has filed assault charges against the two attackers, Behind The Mask reports. The men approached him, asking for the money he won for the Mr. Gay Namibia contest. One of the attackers allegedly kicked Hamutenya to the ground, while the other stole his cell phone and wallet. The attackers beat his head, face, and ribs. Eventually, he was admitted to a private clinic for 24 hours. Out-Right Namibia, a local gay rights group, said it may have been a politically motivated attack. They said that while Hamutenya has received a great deal of positive feedback locally and globally, he has also become the subject of discrimination and verbal attacks. The organization said he is now under police protection. “Wendelinus Hamutenya represents a new breed of Namibian freedom fighters who are fearless in the face of adversity and stead fast in our goal to realise a Namibia in which all citizens live in equality, dignity and peace,“ representatives from Out-Right Namibia said in a statement. „No amount of physical and verbal attacks or stigmatization and discrimination will discourage us from this path.”

Gay Rights – US Gay Right’s Activists – LGBT History – Harvey Milk Bayard Rustin Sylvia Rivera Barbara Gittings Marsha P Johnson Gay Pride

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Living conditions

In 2005, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Teopolina Mushelenga, claimed that lesbians and gay men betrayed the fight for Namibian freedom, were responsible for the HIV/AIDS pandemic[5] In 2001, President Sam Nujoma warned about forthcoming purges against gays and lesbians in Namibia, saying „the police must arrest, imprison and deport homosexuals and lesbians found in Namibia.“[6] Home Affairs Minister Jerry Ekandjo in 2000 urged 700 newly graduated police officers to „eliminate“ gays and lesbians „from the face of Namibia“.[7]

Mr. Gay Namibia 2011, Wendelinus Hamutenya, was the victim of a homophobic assault in December 2011 in Windhoek. [8]

Export Citation

What are the consequences when international actors step in to protect LGBT people from discrimination with programs that treat their sexualities in isolation from the „facts on the ground“? Robert Lorway tells the story of the unexpected effects of The Rainbow Project (TRP), a LGBT rights program for young Namibians begun in response to President Nujoma’s notorious hate speeches against homosexuals. Lorway highlights the unintended consequences of this program, many of which ran counter to the goals of local and international policy makers and organizers. He shows how TRP inadvertently diminished civil opportunities at the same time as it sought to empower youth to claim their place in Namibian culture and society. Tracking the fortunes of TRP over several years, Namibia’s Rainbow Project poses questions about its effectiveness in the faces of class distinction and growing inequality. It also speaks to ongoing problems for Western sexual minority rights programs in Africa in the midst of political violence, heated debates over anti-discrimination laws, and government-sanctioned anti-homosexual rhetoric.

Table of Contents

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In july 2001 I walked into the feminist nongovernmental organization (NGO) known as Sister Namibia,¹ located just north of the central business district in Windhoek, capital of the Republic of Namibia, to access its gender resource library for medical anthropological research I was planning to undertake.² One of the young staff women, Anne, immediately asked, “Are you gay friendly?” to which I responded, “Well, I have a boyfriend in Canada.” Anne, who was dressed in men’s baggy pants and a long, loose T-shirt, with her hair styled in short dreadlocks, rushed excitedly to the back office and returned with a…

In august 2007 Hanna welcomed me into her home—a gift from her new European mother-in-law.¹ After we exchanged greetings, she took out her wedding photo album and began flipping through the pages with me. She halted when she came to one of the wedding photos in which she and her partner stood dressed in matching white “German frocks,” as she referred to them in a displeased tone. She then said, “That was one of the saddest days of my life! None of my friends were there. They couldn’t afford to go all the way to South Africa. I was…

Seventy-year-old Wayne witnessed significant social transformations in Katutura with the birth of Namibia’s independence in 1990. When Hanna and I visited his home in late 2002, Wayne spoke about how “gay life” had changed since the end of colonial apartheid. He reminisced about the many secret affairs he had had in the late 1960s with men from the mining companies’ bachelor compounds.¹ In particular, he enjoyed having sex with the migrating Oshivambo laborers living behind the walled compound located near the entrance to Katutura. “There were only a few ‘women’ like me then . . . so I had a…

In the Windhoek urban area, abundant transnationally orchestrated NGOs display striking diversity and dissonance in their approaches to sexual health and have staged numerous contests related to Namibian sexuality in the arenas of AIDS prevention, reproductive health, the decriminalization of prostitution, gender rights and inheritance, and homosexuality and authenticity. This chapter examines the last of these by taking a critical look at how TRP’s intervention techniques unwittingly play into the dispersion and intensification of postcolonial state power. By emphasizing self-knowledge and self-possession in their intervention, democratic politics are projected into the personal and away from an awareness of how wider…

Commenting on the oppression of gays and lesbians in the Bahamas, the postcolonial feminist M. Jacqui Alexander describes citizenship as “premised within heterosexuality and principally within heteromasculinity,” posing a broader question of salience to this chapter: “In the absence of visible lesbian and gay movements, can feminist political struggles radically transform these historically repressive structures?” (Alexander 1994, 7). I consider this question alongside the modes of gender and sexual defiance enacted by lesbian youths, modes that continually collide against the oppressive structural forces that privilege heterosexual males. In Katutura Township I observed how groups of young females who took up…

This chapter continues the story of what happens when the everyday practices of freedom inspired by the Rainbow Project are confronted with local forms of masculine domination. TRP’s empowerment strategies, which celebrate male femininities, compel youths to liberate themselves by embracing their sexual desires and resisting the gendered terms of ideal citizenship.¹ Yet Tuli’s words of uncontrollable and unexplainable desire, above, expose an irony at play in LGBT rights discourses that strive to free the desires of feminine males: they inadvertently reinforce the naturalization of oppression they encounter in sexual relationships with masculine “straight men.” TRP’s self-discovery programs obscure the…

In late 2007 TRP’s new health officer and I completed an HIV-related training workshop with gay and lesbian community researchers. The group decided we would all go to Windhoek’s only sex shop, located in a predominantly white neighborhood, to see what safer-sex resources were available beyond the free condoms provided by the Ministry of Health and Social Services. The females were particularly eager to find out if the shop carried any dental dams or products specifically designed for lesbians. The health officer and I were standing outside, recapping the success of the training, when three of the community researchers exited…

After many long hours, our HIV/AIDS awareness committee finished painting the walls of TRP’s offices in preparation for a safer-sex poster exhibition. As some of us began crumpling up the newspapers that served as a drop cloth, from the corner of my eye I watched a heated argument spark between Hanna and a feminine male named Melvin. Hanna accused Melvin of sexually coercing a young gay friend of hers at a safer-sex educational weekend organized by the Rainbow Project and me a few weeks previously. Melvin adamantly denied it.

Despite our best attempts to settle the argument, it continued to…

Aynı cinsten cinsel aktivitenin yasallığı

Namibya’da kodlanmış bir sodomi hükmü yoktur, ancak ülkede yürürlükte olan Roma-Hollanda ortak hukukuna göre bu bir suç olmaya devam etmektedir. Sodomi, “ iki insan erkek arasında cinsel ilişkiyi dışlar .

Namibya’daki LGBT insanlar için iklim son yıllarda hafifledi. Ülkenin önde gelen LGBT savunuculuk grubu, Mart 2010’da kurulan ve Kasım 2010’da resmen tescil edilen OutRight Namibia’dır. Namibya’nın ilk gurur geçitlerini düzenledi ve „Namibya’daki lezbiyen kadınlar, gey erkekler, biseksüeller ve transseksüel ve interseks kişilerin sesi olmayı hedefliyor. „. Diğer LGBT grupları arasında, gey ve biseksüel erkekler için cinsel sağlık konusunda farkındalık sağlayan MPower Community Trust, LGBT kişilere danışmanlık ve tavsiye sağlayan ve LGBT Namibyalılar, Tulinam, bir LGBT olan Tulinam hakkında farkındalık yaratmak için eğitim programları düzenleyen Namibya Geyleri ve Lezbiyen Hareketi bulunmaktadır. inanç temelli grup ve transseksüel bir grup olan Wings to Transcend Namibia.

Aynı cinsten cinsel aktivitenin yasallığı

Namibya’da kodlanmış bir sodomi hükmü yoktur, ancak ülkede yürürlükte olan Roma-Hollanda ortak hukukuna göre bu bir suç olmaya devam etmektedir. Sodomi, “ iki insan erkek arasında cinsel ilişkiyi dışlar .

Ağustos 2016’da Windhoek’te ülkeyi sodomi yasağını kaldırmaya çağıran bir rapor yayınladı . Komitenin çağrısına tepki gösteren Namibya Ombudsmanı John Walters, ofisi insan haklarını teşvik etmek ve korumakla görevlendirildi ve insanların hayatlarını uygun gördükleri gibi yaşamaları için özgür olmaları gerektiğini söyledi. Walters şöyle dedi:

Eski sodomi yasasının amacına hizmet ettiğini düşünüyorum. Kaç tane kovuşturma yapıldı? Son 20 yılda hiçbirine inanmıyorum. İnsanları yargılamazsak, neden eylemimiz var?

Namibya Hükümeti haberdar Birleşmiş Milletler bu oğlancılık yasası yürürlükten kaldırmak için şu anda niyeti yok. Ulusal Konsey Başkanı Margaret Mensah-Williams , birçok milletvekilinin farklı görüşler ifade ettiğini söyledi, „ne kadar rahatsız olursa olsun, LGBTİ topluluğu hakkında konuşmamızın zamanı geldi. Onlar bizim toplumumuzun bir parçası.“ Hukuk Reformu ve Geliştirme Komisyonu Namibya Anayasasının „LGBTİ artı topluma ait hakları tanımlamak ve korumak için yeterli dilden“ yoksun olduğunu söyledi . Namibya’nın LGBT topluluğu için eşit korumayı ele almak için ombudsmanın 2019’da ev sahipliği yaptığı bir yuvarlak masa toplantısında, bazı milletvekilleri bu sorunların acilen ele alınması çağrısında bulundu.

Haziran 2019’da, Yüksek Mahkemesi tarafından yürürlükten kaldırılmasının First Lady Monica Geingos , „sodomi yasasının günleri sayılı“ ve „Namibya gelecek“ diyerek Namibya yasasının yürürlükten kaldırılması çağrısında bulundu.

Ayrımcılık korumaları

Temelinde ayrımcılık cinsiyet kimliği Namibya yasadışı değildir. Namibya Anayasası, LGBT kişileri kapsadığı şeklinde yorumlanabilecek „sosyal statü“ kategorisini içermektedir.

Namibya, insanları cinsel yönelime dayalı ayrımcılığa karşı koruyan bir hükmün bir yasama organı tarafından yürürlükten kaldırıldığı ender vakalardan biridir. 1992 gibi erken bir tarihte, yerel aktivistler, halen yürürlükte olan yasaklanmış olan ayrımcılık arasındaki cinsel yönelimini içermez.

Ağustos 2016’da, Birleşmiş Milletler İnsan Hakları Komitesi , Namibya Hükümeti’ni , dahil olmak üzere, cinsel yönelim temelli ayrımcılığı açıkça yasaklayan mevzuatı kabul etmeye çağırdı . Komitenin çağrısının ardından Namibya Ombudsmanı, cinsel yönelim temelinde ayrımcılığı yasaklayan bir tedbirin Anayasa’da yer alması gerektiğini savundu .

Yaşam koşulları

2005 yılında İçişleri ve Göçmenlik Bakan Yardımcısı Teopolina Mushelenga HIV / AIDS salgınından sorumlu olduğunu ve Afrika kültürüne hakaret olduğunu iddia etti . 2001’de Başkan Sam Nujoma , Namibya’daki gey ve lezbiyenlere karşı yapılacak tasfiyeler konusunda uyardı ve „polis, Namibya’da bulunan eşcinselleri ve lezbiyenleri tutuklamalı, hapse atmalı ve sınır dışı etmelidir“ dedi. İçişleri Bakanı Jerry Ekandjo 2000 yılında 700 yeni mezun polis memurunu “ geyleri ve lezbiyenleri“ Namibya yüzünden ortadan kaldırmaya „çağırdı.

Bay Gay Namibia 2011, Wendelinus Hamutenya, Aralık 2011’de Windhoek’te homofobik bir saldırının kurbanı oldu .

Kasım 2012’de Ricardo Amunjera, Bay Gay Namibia’yı taçlandırdı. Gösteri başkent Windhoek’te bir tiyatro-restoranda yapıldı . Amunjera, daha sonra 2013’te Motsvana’daki yaşam arkadaşı Marc Omphemetse Themba ile evlendi .

Ayrımcılık korumaları

Temelinde ayrımcılık cinsiyet kimliği Namibya yasadışı değildir. Namibya Anayasası, LGBT kişileri kapsadığı şeklinde yorumlanabilecek „sosyal statü“ kategorisini içermektedir.

Namibya, insanları cinsel yönelime dayalı ayrımcılığa karşı koruyan bir hükmün bir yasama organı tarafından yürürlükten kaldırıldığı ender vakalardan biridir. 1992 gibi erken bir tarihte, yerel aktivistler, halen yürürlükte olan yasaklanmış olan ayrımcılık arasındaki cinsel yönelimini içermez.

Ağustos 2016’da, Birleşmiş Milletler İnsan Hakları Komitesi , Namibya Hükümeti’ni , dahil olmak üzere, cinsel yönelim temelli ayrımcılığı açıkça yasaklayan mevzuatı kabul etmeye çağırdı . Komitenin çağrısının ardından Namibya Ombudsmanı, cinsel yönelim temelinde ayrımcılığı yasaklayan bir tedbirin Anayasa’da yer alması gerektiğini savundu .

Yaşam koşulları

Bay Gay Namibia 2011, Wendelinus Hamutenya, Aralık 2011’de Windhoek’te homofobik bir saldırının kurbanı oldu .

Namibya’da dini eşcinsel dönüşüm terapisi uygulamalarının yaygın bir şekilde kullanıldığına dair raporlar var .

Hope all is well. My name is Ricardo, Marc’s Husband and we are writting from our boardroom in Walvisbay 🙂

Hi Maeve, it is a pleasure to join into the web chat. Im seating right next to Ricardo in my office’s boardroom as Ricardo is off work today in order to participate in this web chat…

We met through a mutual friend on Facebook. The guy did the introduction, we then exchanged numbers, long international phones calls started followed by long Skype sessions. Eight months after that we got married and i relocated to Namibia to live with Ricardo

On Facebook….. Facebook gave me the love of my life. I need to send Marc an email 🙂

The advocacy spectrum is broad and covers everyone evenly.

I ‚d say that Bisexuality issues are mostly overlooked or ignored as there is more need to address the intense and escalating Gay & Lesbian matters worldwide.

Hello, if you let me get into your conversation, I think your question is really good. Many people think that LGBTI rights are some sort of special rights for ‚gays‘, while in fact it is about LGBTI people to be able to enjoy the very same rights everybody else has. A very good strategy in this regard is to try to get allies from wider civil society about non-discrimination on any ground, especially around election time, when governments tend to reduce the space for civil society to dissent and demand International HIV/AIDS Alliance’s member organisation in Namibia, Positive Vibes, supports the country’s biggest LGBTI network, Outright Namibia, which advocates for health and human rights, another important avenue to fight discrimination.

Delighted to hear this but having lived in Namibia for 6 years I know that this must be hard. How have people reacted to this?

Not at all. Our Namibian goverment never really openly spoke about their stance on homosexuality although elements within the goverment voiced their opinion and as far as Iam concerned those are opinions and hatred that they will ahve to deal with while I live the best life in a country that I call my home.

I lived an openly gay lifestyle in Namibia in the early 90’s and I was never discriminated against. My partner and I have been together for 20 years now and married for 6. For the first year that gay marraiges were legal in South Africa we could not find anyone willing to marry us!! Nevertheless, we have never been discriminated against and most people we meet comment about our love, which we are blessed to have.

Do you feel threatened often by the homophobia you face? And if so, how do you and your family cope with that?

Not at all. Somehow all these individuals throwing hateful comments never actually materialise. I have come to terms that people will hate and try to break you to feel more secure about their own situation. I simply dont give to much attention to that.

Hello, I am the Senior Adviser on HUman Rights at the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (who made It’s all about love with Marc and Ricardo). I just wanted to first, congratulate Marc and Ricardo on being so brave. We shouldn’t underestimate what it is like to come out and defend human rights for all, includng LGBTI people these days. In Africa alone, more and more countries are introducing or enforcing anti-homosexuality legislation, like in Nigeria or Uganda. And in many more, politicians are venting their homophobia openly, fueling stigma and discrimination at every level of society.

How do you feel about the plight of other gay people in Africa?

Do you feel angry about the American evangelical Christians who’ve caused the new wave of homophobia in some other African countries?

Iam angered by the fact that our people are killing their own but more so iam dissapointed that we havent realised the hidden agendas of the American Evangelican Christian groups come with. They speak about peace and what the bible stands for yet all i see is a path left behind filled with the blood of innocent people.

My question would be how do they avoid arrest or legal action, and how do they carry out their activism under the constant threat of homophobia from anti-gay activists and law enforcement? Lastly, congrats on being married and having so much courage in such a dangerous situation!

Our goverment never really voiced their stance on homosexuality. Although forces within the goverment have a strong negative attitude towards human rights for all. I live in a beautiful country where not everyone share the same views but iam relatively safe.

1 comment

My name Neuville and I’m currently living in Namibia. The top leaders have been attacking us, for us to have gay rights. A few days ago I found the most fantastic boyfriend I’ve ever met, but the problem is the fact that we cannot practise our relationship public, because we’re affraid of going to jail.W realy need your help from outside this you help me out to a have a peaceful gay life.

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Decriminalising being gay

During the last 200 years, an increasing number of countries have decriminalised same-sex relationships. After a period of criminalisation before the French Revolution in 1789, the trend towards decriminalisation gathered pace – particularly in the 1960s and 1970s.

However, some countries are moving in the opposite direction, introducing punitive new laws and strengthening existing penalties. Last year, India reinstated a 153-year-old colonial-era law criminalising gay sex. Nigeria, which already bans gay relationships, also recently outlawed same-sex marriages, gay groups and shows of same-sex public affection.

Olympic host Russia also introduced controversial legislation in June that prescribes fines for anyone giving information about homosexuality to people under 18.

Legal status of homosexuality: 1789-2014

In 1789, the timeline’s starting point, homosexuality was illegal in

Note: Where possible, former colonies have been referenced by their current name.

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association

For more information on the data behind the map and timeline, see our Free and Equal campaign website.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

NamibiaLGBTNamibia, and households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples. However, despite the lack of legal rights experienced by Namibian LGBT citizens, acceptance and tolerance of LGBT people is much higher than in most African countries. [1]

The climate for LGBT people in Namibia has eased in recent years. The country’s leading LGBT advocacy group is OutRight Namibia, formed in March 2010 and officially registered in November 2010. It has organised Namibia’s first pride parades and seeks to be „a voice for lesbian women, gay men, bisexuals and transgender and intersex people in Namibia“. [2] Other LGBT groups include MPower Community Trust, which provides awareness of sexual health for gay and bisexual men, the Namibian Gays and Lesbian Movement, which provides counselling and advice to LGBT people and organises educational programs to raise awareness of LGBT Namibians, Tulinam, an LGBT faith-based group, and Wings to Transcend Namibia, a transgender group.[3]

History

Homosexuality and same-sex relations have been documented among various modern-day Namibian groups. In the 18th century, the Khoikhoi people recognised the terms , which refers to same-sex masturbation usually among friends. Anal intercourse and sexual relations between women also occurred, though more rarely. [4]

In the 1920s, German anthropologist Kurt Falk reported homosexuality and same-sex marriage ceremonies among the NamaHerero and Himba peoples. Ovambo men taking the passive role in sex with other men are called eshengi would dress like women, do women’s work and marry other men. Ovambo society believed they were possessed by female spirits. [4][5]

Legality of same-sex sexual activity

In Namibia, there is no codified sodomy provision, but it remains a crime in the country under the Roman-Dutch common law in force. [6] Sodomy has been defined as „unlawful and intentional sexual relations by heterosexual couples or lesbians.[7]

Section 299 of the ) makes reference to evidentiary issues on a charge of sodomy or attempted sodomy. Schedule 1 of the Act groups sodomy together with a list of other crimes for which police are authorised to make an arrest without a warrant or to use of deadly force in the course of that arrest, among other aspects (Sections 38, 42, 44, 63 and 112). [8] Public displays of affection between two men can be considered „immoral“ behaviour, which is punishable under the ).[6][9]

In August 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Committee released a report in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city, calling on the country to abolish its sodomy ban. [10] Reacting to the committee’s call, John Walters, the Ombudsman of Namibia whose office is mandated to promote and protect human rights, said that people should be free to live their lives as they see fit. Walters said:[11][12]

I think the old sodomy law has served its purpose. How many prosecutions have there been? I believe none over the past 20 years. If we don’t prosecute people, why do we have the act?

The Government of NamibiaUnited Nations that it has currently no intentions to repeal the sodomy law. [13] Several lawmakers expressed different opinions, however, National Council Chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams said, „irrespective of how uncomfortable it is, it is time that we should talk about the LGBTI community. They are part of our communities.“[14] Yvonne Dausab, chairperson of the Law Reform and Development Commission, said that the Constitution of Namibia lacks „sufficient language to describe and protect rights pertaining to the LGBTI plus community“.[13] At a roundtable hosted in 2019 by the ombudsman to address equal protection for Namibia’s LGBT community, several lawmakers called for these issues to be tackled urgently.[13]

In June 2019, following the repeal of Botswana’s sodomy lawHigh CourtFirst Lady Monica Geingos called for the repeal of Namibia’s law, saying that the „sodomy law’s days are numbered“ and „Namibia will be next“. [15]

Discrimination protections

Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is not outlawed in Namibia. The Namibian Constitution includes the category „social status“, which could be interpreted as covering LGBT people. [19]

Namibia is one of the rare cases in which a provision protecting people from discrimination based on sexual orientation was repealed by a legislative body. As early as 1992, local activists successfully lobbied to include „sexual orientation“ among the prohibited grounds of discrimination in the . In 2004, a new labour law was discussed in Parliament and the inclusion of the term was a topic of heated debates, resulting in the exclusion of the term from the final text. However, this law never came into force. [6] The currently in force does not include sexual orientation among the prohibited grounds of discrimination.[20]

In August 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Committee called on the Government of Namibia to adopt legislation explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, including in the . [10] Following the committee’s call, the Ombudsman of Namibia, argued that a measure prohibiting discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation needs to be in the Constitution.[11]

Gender identity and expression

The ) states that: „The Secretary may on the recommendation of the Secretary of Health, alter in the birth registerof any person who has undergone a change of sex, the description of the sex of such person and may for this purpose call for such medical reports and institute such investigations as he may deem necessary.“ [21]

It was reported in 2015 that applications for change of sex are done on a case-by-case basis and are not problematic, as long as a person can provide medical reports of their sex change, which includes undergoing sex reassignment surgery. Once the application is granted, a transgender person can apply for a new identity document and passport. [21]

In addition, a transgender person who has not had a „change of sex“ could possibly use the . The act states that „if an identity document does not reflect correctly the particulars of the person to whom it was issued, or contains a photograph which is no longer a recognizable image of that person“ the Minister shall cancel it and replace it with an improved identity document. [21]

Living conditions

In 2005, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Teopolina Mushelenga, claimed that lesbians and gay men betrayed the fight for Namibian freedom, were responsible for the HIV/AIDS pandemic[24] In 2001, President Sam Nujoma warned about forthcoming purges against gays and lesbians in Namibia, saying „the police must arrest, imprison and deport homosexuals and lesbians found in Namibia.“[25] Home Affairs Minister Jerry Ekandjo in 2000 urged 700 newly graduated police officers to „eliminate“ gays and lesbians „from the face of Namibia“.[26]

Mr Gay Namibia 2011, Wendelinus Hamutenya, was the victim of a homophobic assault in December 2011 in Windhoek. [27]

In November 2012, Ricardo Amunjera was crowned Mr Gay Namibia. The pageant took place at a theatre-restaurant in the capital city, Windhoek. Amunjera went on to later marry his Motswana life partner Marc Omphemetse Themba in South Africa in 2013. [28]

In December 2013, McHenry Venaani, the president of the Popular Democratic Movement (formerly DTA), spoke out in favor of LGBT rights and said that people should be allowed to live their private lives without interference. [29]

There are reports of a widespread use of religious gay conversion therapy[30]

2015

Deputy Finance Minister of Namibia reportedly told staff at an office of the Ministry of Finance in August that: “You are either a man or a woman. Don’t come from outside and tell us this is acceptable. They must keep their gay activities in their countries. We will not entertain any of this gayness.

2014

In April, the Refugee Commissioner of Namibia released a statement saying that Namibia will not allow gay refugees from Uganda into the country. According to the Commissioner: “[Namibian] refugee law does not have a provision granting refugee status for being gay. And we will never do that.

In March, in response to a question on whether he thought Namibia would introduce any further anti-gay legislation (as has been seen in Nigeria and Uganda), then Namibian Prime Minister Hage Geinbob answered in the negative, adding that: “In Namibia, we respect human rights.”

The newly formed Namibian Economic Freedom Fighters political party criticised homosexuality as a threat to the country, compared it to the Ebola virus, and claimed it must be contained.

2013

Former Mr. Gay Namibia and potential parliamentary candidate, Wendelinus Hamutenya, was heavily criticised by both politicians and Namibian gay rights groups for reportedly threatening to release a list of gay politicians.

The leader of the Democratic Turnhalle Alliance political party in Namibia spoke out in defence of gay rights in the country in December. Challenging the proposition that homosexuality is “un-African”, McHenry Venaani stated that: “For many years gays have been part of the society all along. It is scientifically proven all races and cultures have gays”, later adding that it was “natural” to be gay, and that gay people should be protected.

A number of politicians have reportedly spoken out against homosexuality in recent years. An article published in May stated that Former President of Namibia, Sam Nujoma, has called, at various times, for the “rejection and condemnation” of homosexuality; ordering police to “arrest, imprison and deport gays”. Jerry Ekandjo, a cabinet minister, called for the “elimination” of gay people within the country.1

In April, the Secretary of the Youth League of the ruling SWAPO party published a message on Twitter in response to news of a gay couple who had married in South Africa and returned to Namibia: “The so-called first gay marriage in Namibia is an abomination and illegal. It is moral decay at its worst, the police must arrest them.”1

2017

The US Department of State Human Rights Report for Namibia stated that although LGBT people faced harassment when trying to access public services, there was some evidence of government attitudes relaxing in recent years. For instance, in July, authorities allowed an LGBT parade in downtown Windhoek. It further stated that other than some isolated shouting of insults and head shaking from passing motorists, no harassment or violence took place.

Married couple Johann Potgieter, who is a Namibian citizen, and Daniel Digashu, who is South African, requested a court indictment to stop the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration from considering Digashu and the couple’s son as prohibited immigrants under the Immigration Control Act. In his statement, Digashu claims that the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration are discriminating against him and his husband based on their sexual orientation and have asked the court to declare that the government recognise their marriage and the process of joint guardianship of their son.

2016

In a report submitted to the Committee Against Torture, a coalition of LGBT human rights organisations addressed the violence, harassment and ill-treatment of LGBT individuals by police officers and other state actors. The report stated, inter alia, that: “While the State party report does not include information torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of LGBTI persons in Namibia, continued criminalization of consensual same-sex conduct leads to stigmatization, violence, harassment, blackmail and discrimination by both State and non-State actors.”

2014

The US Department of State’s Human Rights Report on Namibia reported that during 2014: “many cases of human rights violations against LGBT persons went unrecorded, including the use of ‘corrective rape’ against lesbians, families disowning LGBT children, and the beating of LGBT persons. A large number of LGBT youth were unemployed, did not go to school, abused drugs and alcohol, and remained vulnerable to discrimination.”

In September, a man sexually assaulted a lesbian in Windhoek because he wanted to “cure” her of her lesbianism. When she sought medical help at a state hospital, the receptionist reportedly told her to return later and publicly announced that she had been raped.

2013

In February, an LGBT group Out-right Namibia spoke of an increasingly more tolerant Namibian society: “We must accept that there is increasing tolerance of sexual minorities in Namibia among communities, the media, and in particular by political leaders who have not made homophobic statements in recent years.”

Many cases of persecution and discrimination are not reported, although, again, reports suggest that this situation is improving, particularly through strengthened LGBT relations with the Office of the Ombudsman and the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

2016

The Committee Against Torture, in its concluding observations of the review of Namibia recommended that: “The State party should take all necessary measures to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons from threats and any form of violence, particularly in places of detention, including by separating transgender women from male detainees. The State party should ensure that violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons is promptly, impartially and thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted and punished. The State party should consider decriminalizing sexual acts between consenting adult men.”

At its second UPR cycle, Namibia again rejected recommendationsstated: “[T]he Namibian Government does not persecute members of the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexed (LGBTI) community in Namibia. Article 10 of the Namibian Constitution provides for equality and freedom from discrimination… There are no records of cases of harassment or discrimination reported to the Ombudsman or the Namibian police. The reality and the legal history of the Namibian people does not suggest that legalising same sex marriages is important or beneficial to our legal and cultural system. The Government considers the issue of same sex marriages in Namibia as a non-issue. Nevertheless, the Government has no intention to repeal any laws including the common law crime of sodomy.”

In the CESCR’s concluding observations of the review of Namibia at its 57th session, the Committee recommended that the State party: “Expand the grounds for discrimination prohibited in the Constitution to include, among others, marital status, political or other opinion, HIV status, disability, sexual orientation, language, property and birth; Adopt comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation that prohibits both direct and indirect discrimination and provides for the possibility of temporary special measures and remedies for victims; Abrogate all discriminatory legal provisions and, in that regard, decriminalise sexual relations between consenting individuals of the same sex.”

The Human Rights Committee recommended in its concluding observations of the review of Namibia that the state: “Adopt legislation explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, including in the Labour Act (Act No. 11 of 2007), and adopt hate crime legislation punishing homophobic and transphobic violence and vigorously enforce it; Abolish the common law crime of sodomy and include same-sex relationships in the Combating of Domestic Violence Act (Act No. 4 of 2003) so as to protect same-sex partners; Intensify efforts to combat discrimination against persons with disabilities and against persons who are HIV-positive, and ensure their full integration into all spheres of public life.”

2015

The National Human Rights Action Plan highlights LGBT individuals as a vulnerable group and notes the right of LGBT people not to be discriminated against. Key concerns included widespread social exclusion and rejection, the continued criminalisation of sodomy, the omission of sexual orientation as a prohibited ground for discrimination in the work place, the continued criminalisation of sex work… continued insensitivity by the Namibian police of the plight of LGBTs, and the lack of extensive research on LGBT’s human rights situation.

2011

At its first UPR cycle, Namibia rejected recommendations to decriminalise consensual same-sex sexual conduct. The government delegation stated: “On homosexuality, it was noted that the Constitution outlawed discrimination of any kind. Since independence, no single case of discrimination on the basis of sexual preference or orientation had appeared before the courts. Homosexuals were not prosecuted for practising same-sex activities in private, although this practice was not condoned, and was considered immoral and prohibited in public. Same-sex marriages were not recognized. The Government has no intention of amending current laws.”

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Nefret suçu yasaları

Namibya’daki LGBT kişiler ayrımcılık, taciz ve şiddetle karşı karşıya. Ek olarak, komşu Güney Afrika’ya benzer şekilde , lezbiyenler bazen düzeltici tecavüz denen kurbanlar oluyor; burada erkek tecavüzcüler lezbiyen kurbana cinsel yönelimini „iyileştirmek“ amacıyla tecavüz ettiklerini iddia ediyorlar.

Ağustos 2016’da Birleşmiş Milletler İnsan Hakları Komitesi Namibya’yı homofobik ve transfobik şiddeti cezalandıran nefret suçu yasasını kabul etmeye ve bunu şiddetle uygulamaya çağırdı.

Nefret suçu yasaları

Namibya’daki LGBT kişiler ayrımcılık, taciz ve şiddetle karşı karşıya. Ek olarak, komşu Güney Afrika’ya benzer şekilde , lezbiyenler bazen düzeltici tecavüz denen kurbanlar oluyor; burada erkek tecavüzcüler lezbiyen kurbana cinsel yönelimini „iyileştirmek“ amacıyla tecavüz ettiklerini iddia ediyorlar.

Ağustos 2016’da Birleşmiş Milletler İnsan Hakları Komitesi Namibya’yı homofobik ve transfobik şiddeti cezalandıran nefret suçu yasasını kabul etmeye ve bunu şiddetle uygulamaya çağırdı.

Aktivizm

Namibya’nın ilk gurur yürüyüşü Aralık 2013’te Windhoek’te gerçekleşti. Yaklaşık 100 kişi katıldı. Swakopmund şehri ilk gurur yürüyüşünü Haziran 2016’da gerçekleştirdi. Her ikisi de o zamandan beri her yıl devam etti ve Namibya Hükümeti tarafından herhangi bir engelle karşılaşmadı . Haziran 2017 yılında yaklaşık 200 kişi yürüdüler gurur geçit Windhoek ve Aralık 2018 yılında, yüzlerce kişi Windhoek ve Swakopmund şehirlerde geçit yürüdü.

2017’de Namibya Çeşitlilik İttifakı (DAN) kuruldu. DAN, Namibya’daki cinsel ve toplumsal cinsiyet azınlıkları temsil eden bir kuruluşlar kolektifidir. Şu organizasyonları içerir: Haklar Kurtarılmayan Güven (RnRT), Tulinam, Namibya Genç Feminist Hareketi (Y-FEM), OutRight Namibia (ORN), Wings to Transcend Namibia (WTTN), Transgender Intersex ve Androgynous Movement of Namibia (TIAMON) ), Tüm Hareket Hakları (RAM), Namibya Kırsal Diyaloğu, MPower Community Trust ve Voice of Hope Trust (VHT). İttifak, Tulinam’ı başkan ve başkan yardımcısı olarak RnRT’yi ve sekreterya ve koordinasyon mekanizması olarak ORN’yi seçti.

17 Mayıs 2018’de, Namibya’nın ilk LGBT sağlık merkezi olan Sosyal Yardım Merkezi, Uluslararası Homofobi, Transfobi ve Bifobi ile Mücadele Günü, OutRight Namibia tarafından Windhoek’te başlatıldı.

Kasım 2017’de Windhoek’te ilk Namibya Lezbiyen Festivali düzenlendi. Sekiz bölgeden altmıştan fazla genç lezbiyen, şiir, öyküler, müzik, drama ve dansla bir hafta halka açık performanslar ve yaratıcı ifadeler için bir araya geldi. Festivalin ikincisi Kasım 2018’de gerçekleşti.

Namibya Cumhuriyeti’ndeki Evanjelik Lüteriyen Kilisesi de dahil olmak üzere birkaç mezhep LGBT Hıristiyanları hoş görüyor. Lezbiyen bir Hıristiyan olan Madelene Isaacks, Namibya kiliselerinde cinsel azınlıklar için güvenli alanlar yaratmaya yardımcı olmak için inanç temelli Tulinam örgütü başlattı.

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Hate crime laws

LGBT people in Namibia face discrimination, harassment and violence. Additionally, similarly to neighbouring South Africa, lesbians are occasionally the victims of so-called corrective rape, where male rapists purport to raping the lesbian victim with the intent of ‚curing‘ her of her sexual orientation. [10]

In August 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Committee called on Namibia to adopt hate crime legislation punishing homophobic and transphobic violence, and vigorously enforce it. [10]

Activism

Namibia’s first pride march took place in Windhoek in December 2013. It was attended by about 100 people. [31] The city of Swakopmund held its first pride parade in June 2016.[32] They both have continued annually since then and have not faced any impediments by the Namibian Government. In June 2017, around 200 people marched in a pride paradeWindhoek,[33] and in December 2018, hundreds of people marched in parades in the cities of Windhoek and Swakopmund.[34][35]

In 2017, the Diversity Alliance of Namibia (DAN) was formed. The DAN is a collective of organisations representing sexual and gender minorities in Namibia. It includes the following organisations: Rights not Rescue Trust (RnRT), Tulinam, Young Feminist Movement of Namibia (Y-FEM), OutRight Namibia (ORN), Wings to Transcend Namibia (WTTN), Transgender Intersex and Androgynous Movement of Namibia (TIAMON), Rights for all Movement (RAM), Rural Dialogue Namibia, MPower Community Trust, and Voice of Hope Trust (VHT). The Alliance has elected Tulinam and RnRT as chair and vice-chair, respectively, and ORN as a secretariat and coordinating mechanism. [36]

On 17 May 2018, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the Outreach Health drop-in-centre, which is Namibia’s first LGBT health centre, was launched by OutRight Namibia in Windhoek. [37][38][39]

In November 2017, the first Namibian Lesbian Festival was held in Windhoek. More than sixty young lesbians from eight regions came together for a week of public performances and creative expression, with poetry, stories, music, drama and dance. [40] The second edition of the festival occurred in November 2018.[41][42]

A few denominations, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia, tolerate LGBT Christians. Madelene Isaacks, a lesbian Christian, started the faith-based organisation Tulinam to help create safe spaces for sexual minorities in Namibian churches. [30]

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The leader of one of Namibia’s political parties has spoken out for gay rights and gone head-to-head with his opponents who claim homosexuality is un-African.

McHenry Venaani, the leader of Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA), told Gay Star News claims homosexuality is un-African are ‘manufactured lies’.

‘For many years gays have been part of the society all along. It is scientifically proven all races and cultures have gays,’ Venaani said.

The 36-year-old politician says hormones cannot be imported so no one can claimed that homosexuality is imported.

The DTA president added it was natural to be gay and LGBTI people should protected, rather than arrested.

He said homosexuality had existed in Africa throughout history, even before the continent was colonized.

The rising young politician pledged his party will be a voice of all minorities and once he entered parliament in 2015 he will speak up for them.

Venaani, who comes from the Bantu-speaking Herero tribe in Namibia, said gays do exist but are hidden in society including his.

‘Africans must stop hiding the reality. Society always denies the reality, homosexuality existence cannot be denied,’ Venaani said.

He also said lesbian, gay and bisexual people should be allowed to live their private lives without interference, saying who you sleep with is a personal matter.

The opposition leader said he has no problems with gays and also some of his friends are part of the sexual minority group. And he said his party, founded in 1977, is non-sexist and would never discriminate against minorities.

On gays having rights such as same-sex marriage, Venaani said Namibia, like other African countries, will take a long time to recognize the rights of sexual minorities.

But he said LGBTI rights groups in the country are visible.

DTA was a powerful political force after independence. But the party has lost its support in elections and now only has two seats in parliament.

Currently the party is developing its new manifesto which, GSN is told, will be inclusive of minorities.

Earlier this year, Namibia’s ruling Swapo party youth league said homosexuality was un-African and called upon advocates of homosexuality to come out so they can be identified. It was not known why the youth league call upon advocates to come out.

‘We must uphold traditional values and not suck up to imported practices such as the so-called homosexuals. We emphatically condemn homosexuality with the contempt it deserves,’ Job Amupanda spokesperson of the Swapo youth league said in the local daily newspaper Namibian Sun.

The comments were denounced by legal and human rights experts as a violation of the right of dignity guaranteed by Article 88 of the Namibian constitution.

Swapo party politicians have also called for the deportation and extermination of gay people in Namibia in the past. And lack of rainfall in the country has been blamed on homosexuality.