Source: Global Voices
The case has become a symbol of Namibia’s LGBTQ+ community’s struggle for equal rights
Written by Lisa Plank
A Namibian high court denied, on April 19, travel documents to the infant twin daughters of a same-sex couple who were born in South Africa via surrogacy in March, in the latest development of a case that has caused a nationwide debate on LGBTQ+ rights in Namibia.
Phillip Lühl, a Namibian citizen, has been in Durban, South Africa, since the birth of his and his Mexican-born husband Guillermo Delgado’s legal daughters Paula and Maya, but has been unable to bring the babies home to Windhoek where the couple lives.
The Namibian Ministry of Home Affairs has so far denied the newborn twins the documents necessary for them to travel to Namibia, demanding Lühl undergo a DNA test in order to determine parentage.
Lühl then took the Ministry to court, arguing that its request for a DNA test contravenes both Nambinian and international law, but had his petition denied. As the newspaper The Namibian reported on April 19, judge Thomas Masuku ruled that it would be “judicial overreach” to obligate the authorities to issue the travel documents to the two girls.
The twins’ South African birth certificates state both Lühl and Delgado as their parents, but neither of the men has South African citizenship. The two girls “have been rendered de-facto stateless,” as Lühl says on a public document he drafted with the main details of the case.