Source: Global Voices
By Lisa Plank
In March 2021, the twin daughters of a Namibian same-sex couple were born via surrogacy in South Africa. Even though one of the fathers, Phillip Lühl, is a Namibian citizen, the authorities refused to issue the necessary travel documents to bring the twins home. Instead, they demanded Lühl to undergo a DNA test to determine the children’s parentage, causing outrage within the Namibian LGBTQ+ community and beyond.
Namibian activists raised national and international attention by making the case public on social media, which put the Namibian legal system and government under significant pressure, reaffirming that social media remains an important space for raising the voices of groups that can otherwise be silenced.
But even though the Windhoek High Court declared Lühl and his partner’s first-born son a Namibian citizen, the Ministry of Home Affairs then announced an appeal to the ruling of the high court. According to the ministry, “the High Court erred in law and in fact,” causing an immediate reaction both online and offline.