The National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) has thrown its weight behind Swapo lawmaker Jerry Ekandjo’s anti-gay marriage bills.
It has expressed its dismay at the recent Supreme Court ruling recognising same-sex marriages concluded outside the country.
Speaking at a press conference in Windhoek yesterday, deputy secretary general of the NUNW, Loide Shaanika, said the ruling has left the majority of the nation in a state of uncertainty, and the union feels compelled to address its stance on the issue.
“The union recognises the potential far-reaching consequences of the matter at hand on the socio-economic and cultural rights and freedoms of its members and their families,” she said.
“We are pleased to note that the National Assembly has passed the proposed amendments to the Immigration Control Act and the Marriage Act of 1961 with overwhelming support from its members,” she said.
Shaanika said the bills reflect strong consensus among lawmakers.
“We commend the parliamentarians for their dedication and commitment to upholding the values and beliefs of the majority of Namibian citizens, as well as their respect for the Constitution,” she said.
Shaanika said in line with the NUNW protecting the rights and interests of all workers, it is also bound to protect the Constitution.
“We firmly believe the Constitution serves as the cornerstone of our democracy, ensuring the fundamental principles of justice, equality and inclusivity.
“The NUNW is committed to upholding and defending these principles, while also respecting the prevailing societal values and cultural context of Namibia,” she said.
NUNW secretary general Job Muniaro after the conference told the media transgender people will create “stress and frustration” among Namibian children.
“And equally we are going to destroy our culture,” he said.
Muniaro said anyone who believes in the idea of a man becoming a woman or a woman becoming a man is “satanic”.
He said a household cannot operate without a mother and a father.
Muriano said parliamentarians accepting the Supreme Court judgement are betraying those who voted for them.
“They don’t want to address economic crisis situations, such as how to create employment… so you bring in that people must become gay. It’s complete nonsense,” he said.
ADVOCATES SPEAK OUT
Meanwhile, the Society of Advocates of Namibia has noted with concern that the criticism of the judiciary has in recent weeks taken on an inappropriate tone.
“A certain Pendapala Nakathingo and a certain Paulus Nuuyoma recently made a written submission to the Supreme Court in which they accuse the Supreme Court of having attacked and threatened their fundamental constitutional rights and freedoms, including family and children’s rights, and the right to culture,” the society said in a media statement.
According to the society, this amounts to an impermissible and unjustifiable attack on the independence of the judiciary and to an attempt to intimidate the judiciary and undermine its integrity.
The society said it advocates free speech, expression and debate guaranteed by the Namibian Constitution.
“However, any criticism of the judiciary should be expressed in a manner consistent with the obligation of civil society to uphold, promote and respect the integrity and independence of the judiciary . . ,” it said.
The society said it is deeply concerned and calls on the public and all leaders to carefully reflect on their course of conduct and remain mindful of the fact that the judiciary has served, and will continue to serve, a pivotal role in upholding the fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in chapter 3 of the Namibian Constitution.