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Out-Right Namibia Condemns Mr. Ya Nangoloh's Insulting Statements Against LGBTI Namibians

in NAMIBIA, 08/06/2012

Out-Right Namibia (ORN), an NGO that focuses on the advancement and protection of the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Namibians, hereby responds to published comments made by the Executive Director of NamRights, Phil ya Nangoloh, regarding him being harassed by a "gay fan".

In an article published in the Namibian Sun of 05 June 2012, and herewith attached, Mr. Ya Nangolo made remarks that we deem as insulting to LGBTI Namibians.
Most notably the following quote:
"..as long as homosexuals continue to see this world through sex, they will get nowhere with their fight for equality and acceptance in (a) society such as ours."

How Mr. Ya Nangolo came to the conclusion that homosexuals "see this world through sex", we would like to know. How have we behaved that makes him think this? Having worked with Mr. Ya Nangoloh, as a fellow human rights activist, for about 20 years now, we are flabbergasted by this remark.

His remarks illustrate how human rights activists themselves need to internalize their messages about equality, the respect of human dignity, and the right to privacy. They need to educate themselves on ALL aspects regarding human rights, and how it applies to ALL human beings, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. You cannot claim to be a human rights activist if you are selective about whose rights you advocate for.

Further, the alleged behaviour by the alleged harasser is not exclusive to LGBTI people, it is in fact a psychological/mental condition that can affect anyone. Why highlight that the alleged harasser is gay?

Another quote by Mr. Ya Nangoloh:
"They must try to excel in other fields, such as sports, literature, science and technology and this would greatly enhance their public image."

We do in fact excel in all the above mentioned areas and many more. We are senior political leaders, senior government officials, leading business people and financial administrators, leading members of the judiciary, media practitioners, artists, musicians - the list can go on and on.

The only reason the public is not aware about all these exceptional
Namibians being LGBTI, is because we live in a society where we are judged and discriminated against based on our sexual orientation and gender identity. Statements such as those of Mr. Ya Nangoloh only add to the misunderstanding and prejudice.

Namibia will be a psychologically healthier nation if we allow people the freedom to be who they truly are, and acknowledge that we may be different, but we are all EQUAL.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact:
ORN Executive Director Linda R. Baumann
Office: 061 - 245556
Mobile: 081 252 8259

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