Same-sex marriages concluded outside Namibia must be respected under the immigration laws
This consolidated appeal concerns two cases, both involving foreign nationals married to Namibians in same-sex marriages, which were jointly heard by a Full Bench of the High Court (the Full Bench) due to the similarity of the issues raised. The primary dispute revolves around the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration’s (the Ministry) refusal to recognise spouses in same-sex marriages validly concluded outside Namibia for immigration purposes (ie in terms of s 2(1)(c) of the Immigration Control Act 7 of 1993 (the Act)).
The Full Bench of the High Court determined that the Ministry’s practice violates the parties’ constitutional rights but found that it was bound by a decision of this Court in Immigration Selection Board v Frank 2001 NR 107 (SC) (Frank), which precluded it from granting relief to the appellants on constitutional grounds by reason of the doctrine of precedent reinforced by Art 81 of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court has overruled this decision and the Apeal Judgment, full ruling and grounds thereto may be read here.
More on this case also on the Southern Africa Litigation Centre’s website.
In 2015, GR&AP published an extensive report, Namibian Law on LGBT Issues, which examines topics such as criminal laws relevant to the LGBT community, protection against violence and hate speech, labour law issues and access to health car and family law issues. It also looks at the possibility of legal challenges to discrimination against members of the LGBT community.
For shorter summaries of some of the issues covered in the report, see our series of pamphlets in English, Oshiwambo and Damara/Nama.
Read articles from our archives:
- Asylum based on sexual orientation (2014)
- Out in the open – sexual diversity and bullying (2017
- Fact Sheet on domestic violence and same-sex couples (2020)
The wide-ranging, insightful and provocative collection of chapters in this 2007 volume makes academic research available to any reader interested in the dynamics of gender and sexuality in Namibia today. Nineteen essays by prominent academics and analysts seek to unravel the misconceptions, stereotypes and taboos surrounding the concepts of gender equality, sexuality and sexual rights in Namibia. Read Unravelling Taboos.