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Churches to protest same-sex marriage

2023-05-24  Van Wyk Amutenya

Churches to protest same-sex marriage

The Coalition of Christian Churches and other organisations announced their intention to spearhead a nationwide campaign against a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, regarding same-sex relationships. 

The coalition aims to rally support and urge the National Assembly to represent the views of the Namibian people through the enactment of a parliamentary act that contradicts the court’s decision.

Shirley Magazi, a prominent figure within the Coalition of Christian Churches, emphasised the objective of enacting a law explicitly and categorically prohibiting same-sex relationships in the nation during a press conference on Monday in Windhoek. 

Magazi expressed concerns that the Supreme Court ruling overlooked the common law of sodomy, effectively providing legal recognition and permission for individuals engaged in same-sex relationships to commit what she describes as a criminal act.

“Our constitution clearly states that the common law becomes part of Namibian law. As a sovereign nation, we cannot uphold the constitutions, views, opinions and agendas of other jurisdictions. Namibia’s sovereignty is being undermined by this ruling,” Magazi asserted.

Magazi also condemned what she perceived as the recruitment of young children into the LGBTQI+ movement, stating that the nation’s youth should be protected by the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the government. 

She accused the ministry of education of using comprehensive sexual education, disguised as life skills or health education to propagate and deceive children, demanding the removal of comprehensive sex education from the education

The Coalition of Christian Churches has announced a demonstration, scheduled for 1 June at 14h00, during which they will submit a petition at the National Assembly. The demonstration will commence at the ministry of home affairs at 10h00, where the coalition will also present a petition to the minister.

Reverend Dolly Nengushe echoed the coalition’s sentiments at the press conference, calling the Supreme Court ruling an infringement upon the Republic of Namibia and asserting that it undermines cultural beliefs, norms and values enshrined in the constitution as well as national laws and policies.

Nengushe expressed concern that the ruling might set a precedent for challenging laws pertaining to indecency, sodomy, rape and paedophilia.

“The destiny of this nation lies in the hands of the people of Namibia. We can no longer remain silent. Allowing this evil to thrive will have consequences, and the blood of the innocent will be upon our hands,” Nengushe warned.

Highlighting the importance of the church as a strategic partner in the nation’s development, Nengushe called on the government to review the ruling and emphasised the need for increased consultation with religious organisations on significant issues.

The Christian Coalition of Churches aims to mobilise public support and draw attention to their cause during the upcoming demonstration in June. The petition will be submitted to the National Assembly, seeking to influence legislative action in favour of their stance against the Supreme Court ruling.

As the date approaches, tensions and debates surrounding the issue are expected to escalate, with the coalition and various organisations determined to make their voice heard and challenge the perceived lack of consultation by the government on matters of importance.

The outcome of this highly contentious issue remains uncertain, as Namibia grapples with a clash between differing perspectives on same-sex relationships, cultural values and human rights. 

The demonstrations and petitions serve as a stark reminder of the ongoing debate surrounding LGBTQI+ rights and the complex dynamics between religion, society and legal progress in the country. -

2023-05-24  Van Wyk Amutenya

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