Could Namibia decriminalise same-sex relations?

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11/21/2023

Namibia’s High Court is set to deliver a judgment in May in a case that could see the decriminalisation of gay sex in the southern African country. LGBTQ+ advocate Friedel Dausab brought the case against the government, arguing that the criminalisation of sodomy and related offences was unconstitutional. Arguments were heard by the court in October. Here is what you need to know. What is Namibia’s law on same-sex relations? The laws under deliberation are common law offences, inherited from the period when Namibia was a South African colony from the end of World War Two to 1990. Police officers can arrest people suspected of committing the offence of sodomy under the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977. Dasuab argued that criminalising sodomy and “unnatural sexual offences” contravenes his constitutional rights to equality, dignity and freedom of association.

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