The High Court in Namibia has ruled against a gay couple that was seeking to obtain travel documents for their twin daughters who were born in March to a surrogate in South Africa.
Phillip Luhl, a Namibian national, and his Mexican husband Guillermo Delgado moved to the court after the country’s authorities refused to issue the two infants with travel documents on grounds that were not citizens. Namibian authorities insist that Luhl must prove a genetic link to the twins.
In an application filed under a certificate of urgency, the gay couple wanted the judge to compel Namibia’s home affairs ministry to issue the documents to bring their new daughters home.
But Judge Thomas Masuku dismissed the application on Monday, saying such an order would be “judicial overreach.”
Namibia’s laws criminalize sexual contact between men and do not recognize same-sex marriages.
In an interview with Reuters, Luhl said he will study the ruling together with her husband before deciding on the next step.
“It’s an unexpected judgment and, on a personal level, quite a big blow to us,” he said.
Human rights lawyer Norman Tjombe termed Monday’s judgment as a blatant violation of the rights of the children, adding the infants are entitled to citizenship by descent like any other child born abroad to a Namibian parent.
“Had the children being born from a heterosexual marriage, no questions would have been asked about the paternity,” he said.
The couple has been fighting for citizenship for their two-year-old son.