By Kaya FM News
A Namibian father is fighting to take his twin baby girls back home but Namibia’s Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security is refusing to issue travel documents for the twins to allow them to be taken back to Namibia.
Paula and Maya Delgado Lühl were born in Durban on March 13 via surrogacy. Lühl was present in South Africa for the girls’ birth. Lühl planned to take the girls back to Namibia where his husband, Guillermo Delgado and their son, Yona, aged 2, currently live.
The girls were issued with birth certificates which confirmed that Lühl and Delgado were their fathers. They were also issued with documents confirming that the girls were born via surrogacy in SA. But their plans went awry due to Namibia’s current laws that do not recognise same sex marriages.
The two were married in SA in 2014 and had their older son, also via surrogacy in South Africa, a few years later.
According to The Namibian, Phillip has filed an urgent application in the Windhoek High Court to order the minister to issue emergency travel certificates to his daughters or allow him to enter Namibia with the baby girls.
At the moment, the couple is already embroiled in a separate case to fight the government’s denial of permanent residence to Mexican-born Guillermo.
According to reports, Namibian resident and founder of LGBT Namibia, Chris de Villiers, has written an open letter to the Namibian Minister of Home Affairs, Frans Kapofi, condemning the country’s stance on LGBTQ equality.
“In refusing to issue travel documents, the ministry renders the twins de facto stateless [and] prevents the family from being united, contravening Namibian and international laws,” he wrote.
“[The LGBTQ community are] not asking to be favoured but, just like everyone else, we do not want to be discriminated against,” de Villiers added, describing the situation as a “blatant violation of human rights.”
He urged the Namibian government to “revise its legislation with regards to LGBTQ+ rights and align it with its inclusive neighbours’ legislation, like South Africa…”
An online petition was launched in the hopes of bringing the twins and their father back home. A group of supporters also staged a protest in a bid to get the Namibian government to allow the family to be reunited but to no avail.
According to mamba.online, LGBTQ+ people in Namibia face discrimination, harassment and violence. Consensual “sodomy” between men is illegal and could be used to prosecute LGBTQ individuals, although this is not believed to have happened since the country’s independence in 1990. Nevertheless, the mere existence of such laws has a detrimental impact on the everyday lives of the LGBTQ community, of which the current case is but one example.
Image courtesy of Facebook.