Africa’s Christian Professionals Laud Namibia for Move to Make Same-sex Marriages Illegal in Proposed Marriage Bill 2024

Members of the Africa Christian Professionals Forum (ACPF) have commended the government of Namibia for the proposed Marriage Bill 2024 that seeks to make same-sex marriages illegal in the Southern African nation.

On July 2, Namibia’s Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security, Dr. Albert Kawana, tabled an amendment bill that seeks to replace the current Marriage Act 25 of 1961.

According to the tabled bill, spouses may only be from the opposite sex. A spouse, the bill indicates, “means a person, whether male of female, who is married to a person of the opposite sex”.

In a statement shared with ACI Africa on Wednesday, July 3, ACPF members congratulate Dr. Kawana “for the principled decision to reject the inclusion of same-sex relations in the Marriage Bill 2024 of Namibia.”

The move to made same-sex unions illegal, they say in their two-page statement, “upholds the traditional values and cultural norms that are integral to our identity and heritage.”


Citing Namibia’s Constitution, particularly Article 14 on the family, Africa’s Christian Professionals say, “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, color, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, creed or social or economic status, shall have the right to marry and to found a family.”

This constitutional provision, ACPF members add, also “underscores the traditional view of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.”

The move by Namibia government through the Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security is “a reaffirmation of this constitutional principle” of the Southern African nation that is a signatory to various international treaties and conventions that emphasize the protection of the family and traditional marriage, they further say.

This international standard, they say, “supports the view that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, forming the basis of a family unit.”

The Christian professionals also refer to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Namibia is affiliated, saying that it recognizes “the right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognized.”

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In addition, they say, the covenant “emphasizes the importance of protecting the family as a fundamental group unit of society, deserving of the widest possible protection and assistance.”

In their July 3 statement, Africa’s Christian professionals refer to other international legal frameworks, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights which they say recognizes the family as the natural unit and basis of society that needs protection by the State in terms of “its physical health and moral.”

The African Charter, they say, “mandates member states to safeguard the family as a natural unit”, a responsibility that they say further supports “the exclusion of same-sex marriages in Namibia’s legal framework.”

The Christian professionals urge the country’s president to reject the two previously proposed Marriage Bills, and add, “The Marriage Bill 2024, as it stands, is comprehensive and sufficient.”

“We are confident that the President will proceed to sign this important Bill into law, thereby reinforcing our collective commitment to the principles of traditional marriage,” ACPF members say in their July 3 statement.


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