Thumbs up for SA supporting gay rights

by marzele

Same-sex marriages are currently legal in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden and most recently  New Zealand. France and Uruguay are said to be up next. If these three countries enact the law the number of countries allowing same-sex marriages will rise to 13. As many countries are re-examining their laws it has become evident that the issue of civil rights and equality of rights are taking a prominent role in politics.

In 2006 South Africa became the fifth country in the world to pass the law on same-sex marriage in the world. The existing legal definition of marriage was in conflict with the Constitution since it states that “the state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth” [Section 9(3) ]. The Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and this means that same sex relationships are entitled to equal protection.

The general law definition of marriages was not changed as it would upset various religious and conservative groups. Instead, a separate Civil Union Act was adopted which extended the right to marry to all unmarried couples (heterosexual as well as homosexual) over the age of 18. By allowing same-sex couples to marry they will be given access to basic rights such as hospital visitation during an illness, taxation and inheritance rights, access to family health coverage, and protection in the event of the relationship ending. Furthermore the right to formalize a relationship recognized by law should be extended to all people irrespective of their sexual orientation.

I just want to express how proud I am of South Africa for making the necessary changes in order to ensure equal treatment for all. Here is a song I think everyone should listen to too