By: Josia Shigwedha
A group of demonstrators led by pastor James Wallace turned up at the Supreme court this morning to express their opposition to the hearing in which applicants are seeking the recognition of same-sex marriages.
However, the Rights for All Movement Director, Wendelinus Hamutenya-Jeremia, described the court case as a pivotal moment for the LGBTQI+ rights in Namibia.
According to Wallace, he believes that the legalisation of such rights will bring a curse upon the country.
Wallace explained that the country’s laws are similar to the bible and this should deter people from entering into same-sex relationships. He stated that if same-sex marriages are legalised then people will think it is acceptable.
“A lot of curses will happen upon the country (once same-sex marriages are legalised). God’s wrath will be poured on the country, especially with the LGBTQI+ and abortion issues,” remarked Wallce.
Rights for All Movement (RAM) director, Wendelinus Hamutenya-Jeremia said the rights of members of the LGBTQI+ continue to be suppressed in Namibia, and that if same sex marriages are legalised, they will no longer need to travel to other countries to tie the knot.
“We started at the High court and now we are asking the Supreme court to make sure that our rights are well protected. As I was saying, we have people that are travelling to South Africa to get married and there are those that cannot afford that. I can afford to travel to South Africa but what about those that are in the country and want to get married and it’s a long process to go to South Africa. So if we have same-sex marriages (legalised)we will be able to save the cost and most of the tourists will come to the country, said Hamutenya-Jeremia”.
A candidate legal practitioner, Paulus Kanyangela who is in support of LGBTQI rights, gave an interpretation and stance of the current legal system as it pertains to homosexuality. He stated same-sex relationships were less common in the past than they are today.
“And on the other hand, people also tend to look at the foundation of how things were back in the days, how they grew up, their cultures. That should not be something that dictates the human rights of people. So I am actually for having people enjoy their sexual orientation. So on the other hand, article 10 of the Namibian instituation makes provision for rights from discrimination, said Kanyangela”.
The panel of five Supreme Court judges dealing with the cases reserved its judgment after hearing arguments.