Equal Namibia petitions president to veto anti-LGBTQI+ bill

The Namibia Equal Rights Movement (Equal Namibia) petition calling for president Nangolo Mbumba to veto the passing of the anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and other (LGBTQI+) bill has almost 6 000 signatures.

“President Mbumba, Namibia is no longer safe and inclusive for its most vulnerable citizens. The LGBTQI+ community and their allies live in fear, seeking assurance in their equal place in the Namibian House,” notes Equal Namibia in the petition, launched on social media in May this year.

The anti-LGBTQI+ bill was passed by parliament in July 2023. The drafting of the bill was mostly driven by the ruling of the Supreme Court of Namibia which effectively legalised same-sex marriage. If passed, the bill would override the Supreme Court decision.

Equal Namibia notes that the bill is in direct conflict with Namibia’s Constitution and international law and goes against the right to dignity, family and freedom, while offenders will face up to six years imprisonment or a fine of N$100 000.

“Making this bill Namibia’s most unconstitutional draconian legislature passed since independence,” notes Equal Namibia.

Since the bill was passed, violent hate crimes against the LGBTQI+ community have risen, including assaults, rapes and the alleged murders of six members of the LGBTQI+ community.

Equal Namibia plans to deliver the petition to the president, asking him to protect all human rights and uphold the Constitution, once it reaches 10 000 signatures.

Equal Namibia further calls for open and constructive dialogue between government officials, church leaders, traditional leaders and other stakeholders, with the aim to build understanding and address discriminatory misconceptions.

Equal Namibia is a youth-led social movement aimed at protecting the Constitutional promise of equality

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