Namibia denies residency to infant daughters of gay citizen

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04/20/2021

A Namibian court ruled Monday against a gay couple demanding the right to bring their infant daughters home after being born to a surrogate in South Africa. The Namibian Ministry of Home Affairs says the girls are not Namibian citizens, despite being born to a Namibian father. Phillip Lühl is a Namibian citizen married to Guillermo Delgado, a Mexican national. Together they also have a two-year-old son who was also born to a South African surrogate. Right now the family is separated because their twin daughters were born in Durban, South Africa, and the Namibian government has refused to issue travel documents to them. Lühl is in South Africa with their daughters and Delgado is in Namibia with their son. Lühl said the couple is deciding on its next steps. “(It’s an) unexpected judgment and, on a personal level, quite a big blow to us,” he said after the decision. Namibia does not recognize same-sex marriage or permit surrogacy arrangements. Namibia also maintains a prohibition against sodomy under its common law system, although the government is not believed to have pursued charges of sodomy in over 25 years. In 2019, the Ombudsman of Namibia echoed calls from the United Nations Human Rights Committee for the sodomy ban to be repealed.

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