Namibian High Court’s historic ruling a victory for LGBTI rights


Namibian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) and other human rights organisations today celebrate the landmark ruling by the Namibian High Court, which declared the common law offences of sodomy and unnatural sexual offences unconstitutional and invalid.

This ruling follows an application by LGBTI activist Friedel Dausab to have these offences, along with the statutory provisions incorporating them, deemed unconstitutional. The decision represents a monumental victory for the LGBTI community in Namibia, paving the way for a more inclusive and just society.

This historic judgment not only invalidates outdated and discriminatory laws but also affirms the fundamental rights enshrined in our Constitution. It is a significant step towards eliminating the stigma and discrimination that LGBTI individuals have faced for decades.

We commend the High Court for its courageous and just decision, which aligns Namibia with global human rights norms and reaffirms the supremacy of the Constitution of Namibia. This ruling is a testament to the progress we are making towards a society where every individual, regardless of their sexual orientation, can live free from fear and discrimination and enjoy the right to freedom of expression.

We look forward to the Ministry of Justice's commitment to reviewing and aligning our laws with Namibian Constitutional and International Human Rights standards, ensuring that no one is left behind.

Namibian civil society organisations commit to actively collaborating with the Government of Namibia to ensure that this ruling is implemented effectively and that further measures are taken to highlight the importance and protection of the rights of all LGBTI individuals in Namibia.

We extend our deepest gratitude to Friedel Dausab for his courage and resilience in challenging these oppressive laws. His victory is a beacon of hope and a powerful reminder that justice and equality are attainable through perseverance and the rule of law.

This statement includes an annexure that provides an overview of the ruling, designed to assist the media in reporting on this matter. See here

Photo: Lis Jordan.

For further information, please contact:

Linda Magano Baumann
Strategic Coordinator
Namibia Diverse Women’s Association (NDWA)

Zoé Titus
Namibia Media Trust (NMT)