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Gay Couple Not Allowed to Bring Newborn Twins Home

Namibia won't let girls into country, where their married fathers live
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2021 11:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – A gay couple who lives in the African nation of Namibia saw their family expand to five with the birth of newborn twins via surrogate. One big problem: The girls aren't being allowed into the country, reports Reuters. On Monday, a Namibian court refused to let Phillip Luhl bring the twins into the nation from South Africa, where they were born. As a result, Luhl is stuck in Johannesburg with them, while his husband and their 2-year-old son—also born via surrogate—are in Namibia. Authorities are demanding that Luhl prove his genetic link to the twins before they can travel to the country, per the BBC. Luhl and husband Guillermo Delgado say it's discriminatory to make the demand of them when it wouldn't be required of a single woman or a heterosexual couple.

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"It comes as quite a shock," Luhl tells AFP. He previously described the country's stance as "state-sanctioned homophobia." Sexual contact between men is illegal in Namibia, though the rule is seldom enforced. The nation doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, unlike neighboring South Africa, where the men were married. Last month, the Namibian government said its home affairs minister "did not agree to a request to issue the twins Namibian travel documents, because their entitlement to Namibian citizenship by descent had not been determined." On Monday, the court declined to overrule that decision. Luhl and Delgado are now considering their next steps. (Read more Namibia stories.)

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