Namibia LGBT Laws

Asylum, Immigration, Refugees Legislation/Cases/References
1. Courts & Tribunals

On 11 January 2018, in what could be a test case for same-sex marriage in the African country, it was reported that the government had granted Johann Potgie­ter’s application to allow his South African husband Daniel Digashu to enter Namibia to be with him and son. In August 2016, the couple wer married in South Africa and are seeking recognition of the marriage in the Windhoek High Court. When Digashu’s temporary work permit expired in early January, he faced having to leave Namibia [R1.2].

In 1998, the Namibian High Court granted permanent residency to a German woman on the basis of her long-term relationship with a Nambian woman [R1.1].

R1.2 GayStarNews: Namibia lets gay man into the country to be with his husband and son 11 JAN 18
R1.1 Brother Sister: Namibia Recognises Couple 16 APR 98
Civil Unions, Partners: Domestic, Registered Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In June 1999, Namibia’s high court ruled that gay and lesbian couples have exactly the same rights in the country as heterosexual couples [R1.1].

In April 1998, the Namibian High Court granted permanent residency to a German woman on the basis of her long-term relationship with a Nambian woman [R1.2].

R1.1 Associated Press: Court Rebukes Government Over Gay Rights 25 JUN 99
R1.2 Brother Sister: Namibia Recognises Couple 16 APR 98
Discrimination Legislation/Cases/References
1. National

In 1997, the Namibian Labour Code (Art. 107) explicitly prohibited discrimination in the work place on the grounds of sexual orientation [R1.1] however, in 2004, the law was repealed [R1.2].


In October 2000, Home affairs minister Jerry Ekandjo reportedly launched an attack on gays and lesbians in Nambia, urging a group of new police constables to “eliminate them from the face of Namibia” [R1.3].

In January 1997, Namibia’s President Nujoma reportedly stated that “all necessary steps must be taken to combat influences that are influencing us and our children in a negative way. Homosexuals must be condemned and rejected in our society” [R1.4].

2. Courts & Tribunals

In June 1999, Namibia’s high court ruled that gay and lesbian couples have exactly the same rights in the country as heterosexual couples [R2.1].

R1.1 IGLHRC: 1997 Year in Review 02 JAN 97
R1.2 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 700.06kb, 13 MAY 09
R1.3 Johannesburg Daily Mail & Guardian: Minister Tells Police to ‘Eliminate’ Gays 02 OCT 00
R1.4 IGLHRC: IGLHRC 1997 Year in Review 02 JAN 98
Sydney Star Observer: Namibian Homosexual Attack 03 JAN 97
R2 Associated Press: Court Rebukes Government Over Gay Rights 25 JUN 99
Homosexuality, Sodomy Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [DISCRIMINATION]
1. National

As at 2003, sodomy remained a crime in Nambia according to the Roman-Dutch common-law, which was imposed by the South Africans [R1.1].

Common-law is a legal tradition based mainly on precedent court verdicts. There is no codified sodomy provision in Nambia [R1.1].

It is unclear as to whether consensual sex between female same-sex couples is unlawful.

R1.1 ILGA: State-Sponsored Homophobia PDF 700.06kb, 13 MAY 09
Marriage Legislation/Cases/References
See also: [IMMIGRATION]
1. Courts & Tribunals

On 11 January 2018, in what could be a test case for same-sex marriage in the African country, it was reported that the government had granted Johann Potgie­ter’s application to allow his South African husband Daniel Digashu to enter Namibia to be with him and son. In August 2016, the couple wer married in South Africa and are seeking recognition of the marriage in the Windhoek High Court. When Digashu’s temporary work permit expired in early January, he faced having to leave Namibia [R1.2].

On 12 December 2017, Johann Potgieter and Daniel Digashu filed an application in the Windhoek High Court seeking to have their August 2016 marriage in South Africa and residence rights recognised in Namibia [R1.1].

R1.2 GayStarNews: Namibia lets gay man into the country to be with his husband and son 11 JAN 18
R1.1 AllAfrica: Namibia: Govt Sued Over Gay Marriage 14 DEC 17