Same Sex Marriage in Namibia

  • 22 Jun 2024

On June 21st, 2024, a Namibian High Court declared two colonial-era laws unconstitutional that criminalized same-sex acts between men. This marks a significant victory for the LGBTQ community in Namibia.

Key Points

  • The case was brought by Namibian activist Friedel Dausab with the support of British-based non-governmental organisation Human Dignity Trust.
  • 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.
  • Sine 2006 South Africa has decriminalised 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.
  • In 2023, 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 February 2024, Ghana's parliament passed a Bill, which toughens criminal penalties for consensual same-sex relations, and criminalizes the actions of individuals and organizations that defend the rights of LGBT people.

Same Sex Laws in African Countries

  • Out of the 54 African states, only 22 of them have legalized homosexuality.
  • In some countries it is punishable by imprisonment
  • It is punishable by death in four — Mauritania, Nigeria (in states where sharia law is applied), Somalia, and South Sudan.