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The legal and social status of between ,—over 2 million lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex South Africans has been influenced by a combination of traditional South African mores, colonialismand the lingering effects of apartheid and the human rights movement that contributed to its abolition. South Africa's post-apartheid Constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientationand South Africa was the fifth country in the world, and the first—and, to date, only—in Africa, to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples can also adopt children jointly, and also arrange IVF and surrogacy treatments.
The decision of the Constitutional Court in the case of Minister of Home Affairs v Fourie on 1 December extended the common-law definition of marriage to include same-sex spouses—as the Constitution of South Africa guarantees equal protection before the law to all citizens regardless of sexual orientation —and gave Parliament one year to rectify the inequality in the marriage statutes. On 14 Novemberthe National Assembly passed a law allowing same-sex couples to legally solemise their union to 41, which was subsequently approved by the National Council of Provinces on 28 November in a 36 to 11 vote, and the law came into effect two days later. South Africa was the fifth country, the first and as of August only in Africa to legalise same-sex marriage.
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Parliament - The National Assembly on Thursday passed a bill which will make it impermissible for marriage officers working for the State to refuse to marry same-sex couples, but objections were raised to the fact that Home Affairs has been granted a month transitional period for training. The Civil Union Amendment Bill, which seeks to repeal section 6 of the act allowing marriage officers to opt out of marrying same-sex couples on the basis of "conscience, religion and belief", was passed with the support of most parties. The bill was introduced by Congress of the People MP Deidre Carter, who on Thursday asserted that: "It cannot be in our Constitutional democracy that civil servants can be afforded the right in law about whom they would like to serve.
De Vos Pierre. Afrique du Sud. The "right to be different" : the same-sex marriage judgment of South Africa's Constitutional Court.
For many years, same-sex marriage has been a hot topic of endless debate. Supporters of same-sex marriage say that a relationship and subsequent marriage between two people of the same sex is natural and normal. These supporters believe that a person does not choose to be gay and is instead born this way.
Same-sex marriage has been legalized in in twenty-seven countries, including the United States, and civil unions are recognized in many Western democracies. Yet same-sex marriage remains banned in many countries, and the expansion of broader lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT rights has been uneven globally. International organizations, including the United Nations, have issued resolutions in support of LGBT rights, but human rights groups say these organizations have limited power to enforce these newly recognized rights. Civil Society.
A growing number of governments around the world are considering whether to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages. So far, more than two dozen countries have enacted national laws allowing gays and lesbians to marry, mostly in Europe and the Americas. In Mexico, some jurisdictions allow same-sex couples to wed, while others do not.
This means that, in terms of the Act, two people of any sex can be married or enter into a civil partnership. Like any other marriage, a same-sex marriage or civil union must be solemnised by an authorised marriage officer in South Africa. Furthermore, the marriage must be registered through the Department of Home Affairs.