See also:
» 18.03.2011 - Unions to stop Walmart entering South Africa
» 14.01.2011 - Zimbabweans in SA get extended deadline
» 07.01.2011 - 1.3 million Zimbabweans to be evicted from SA
» 22.09.2010 - Zimbabweans queue to legalise SA stay
» 10.06.2010 - Corruption case still haunting Zuma
» 28.05.2010 - "al-Bashir would be arrested in SA" - Zuma
» 26.05.2010 - SA church urges freeing of Malawi gay couple
» 23.04.2010 - Microsoft play ‘big brother’ in SA

China wholesale online through

Houlihan's coupons

Finn autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden på
Gazpacho Børek Kartoffelsalat Taboulé Gulasj Albóndigas Cevapi Rougaille Japrak sarma Zwiebelbrot Klopse Giouvetsi Paella Pljeskavica Pica pau Pulpo a la gallega Flammkuchen Langosj Tapenade Chatsjapuri Pasulj Lassi Kartoffelpuffer Tortilla Raznjici Knödel Lentejas Bœuf bourguignon Korianderchutney Brenneslesuppe Proia Sæbsi kavurma Sardinske calamares

Autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden finner du på
Réunion Portugal Aserbajdsjan Serbia Tyskland Seychellene Bosnia Spania Libanon Belgia India Kroatia Hellas Italia Ungarn Komorene Georgia Mauritius Østerrike Romania Frankrike

South Africa
Society | Gender - Women | Gay - Lesbian

South Africa legalises same-sex weddings

Perdita Bokeer and her partner Manakedi Moepye have been campaigning for equal rights for South Africa's same-sex couples.

© Deborah Walter/Gender Links/afrol News
afrol News, 14 November
- South Africa records its name among the countries in the world that legalise same sex marriages after the country's parliament today overwhelmingly voted in favour of the same sex unions bill. The bill got the approval of 230 deputies as compared to 41 who reject it.

South Africa has become the world's fifth country to legalise same sex marriages. Before being passed, the government removed the bill's language that had created separate categories for same and opposite sex unions.

The approved law - the Civil Union Act - allows voluntary union of two persons, which is solemnised and registered by either a marriage or civil union. Contrary to the Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, the Civil Union Act gives right to gays and lesbians to marry.

Lesbian and gay rights groups had earlier threatened to repeat their successful challenge of the government in South Africa's constitutional court if it continued with its decision to allow only civil unions for same-sex couples.

A provision exists in the new law allowing churches to reject performing same-sex marriage. But despite this reservation, the South African gay and lesbian community received the news with joy.

"In large part, the Act signals a rejection of previous attempts to render lesbian and gay people as second-class citizens. It demonstrates powerfully the commitment of our law-makers to ensuring that all human beings are treated with dignity," Fikile Vilakazi, a spokesperson for 17 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) groups told ''.

The LGBT groups asked the South African government to harmonise the two laws to avoid confusion and further legal challenges.

"A parallel administrative system for the two statutes only increases the burden on state machinery and is likely to lead to confusion. In addition, it continues to reinforce the notion that there is a need to separate same-sex couples from other marriage forms, in some way," the groups said in a statement.

The South African Constitutional Court last year ruled that denying same-sex couples the rights of marriage was unconstitutional and that if the parliament fails to enact the bill by December, the law would be changed automatically to include same-sex unions.

Marie Fourie and Cecilia Bonthuys, who have been partners since 1994 but were unable to marry, took the case all the way to South Africa's highest court. They were later joined by seven other same-sex couples.

Interpreting definition of marriage as a union between a man and woman, the Supreme Court of Appeal in 2004 said the definition discriminated unfairly against same-sex couples.

Unsatisfied with the ruling, the government through the Home Affairs Ministry, filed an appealed to the Constitutional Court, arguing that the earlier ruling violated the rule of separation of powers of the parliament. But the court emphasised on the constitutional rights of sexual minorities not to be discriminated, ordering the government to change its marriage legislation.

South Africa decriminalised sodomy in 1998. The country's post-apartheid constitution became the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. Following legal battles, this constitutional provision by now has led to equal rights for same-sex and opposite-sex couples, including the right to marry and adopt children.

- Create an e-mail alert for South Africa news
- Create an e-mail alert for Society news
- Create an e-mail alert for Gender - Women news
- Create an e-mail alert for Gay - Lesbian news

    Printable version

On the Afrol News front page now

Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.

Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

front page | news | countries | archive | currencies | news alerts login | about afrol News | contact | advertise | español 

©  afrol News. Reproducing or buying afrol News' articles.

   You can contact us at