Because of criminalization of homosexuality they must live only as “friends” in home countries
By Melanie Nathan, April 12, 2013.
Last year’s winner and current Mr. Gay Namibia, Ricardo Amunjera married his partner Marc Themba from Botswana. The civil ceremony took place in Johannesburg, South Africa where same-sex marriage is legal.
The men wed last week after meeting last year via Facebook and embarked on a long-distance relationship during which they communicated via Skype and telephone until they eventually met when Ricardo made a trip to Botswana.
In his capacity as Mr. Gay Namibia, Amunjera had traveled in Namibia, with his partner, as a couple and were warmly accepted by the locals. Due to the lack of legal status in both their mother countries, Namibia and Botswana, the ceremony could not take place in either Namibia or Botswana and they will need to live together as ‘friends’ for now if they remain in either country.
The couple plans to have a reception this weekend which will coincide with Ricardo’s 30th birthday. After the wedding, the couple will live in Namibia
A local LGBT activist informed OBLOGDEE that they are still struggling to raise the funds needed to send Amunjera, who has been described as “very deserving” to Antwerp for the Mr. Gay World competition at the end of July.
Homosexuality in Botswana is regarded as a crime and homosexual sex is punishable with a possible jail sentence if convicted. Section 164 Penal Code defines it as “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature.” Sodomy is illegal in Namibia, and although barely enforced, is punishable with prison time.
If you would like to send the couple a wedding gift as a donation to get Ricardo to Antwerp, please contact Melanie Nathan at [email protected] for information.
Melanie will be conducting a radio interview with Ricardo Amunjera this week for SWIRL RADIO and the broadcast details will be provided via FaceBook, Twitter, and on this site as well os aon Swirl radio’s site.