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Photo by GUILLEM SARTORIO/AFP via Getty Images

TOPSHOT - People take part in the Johannesburg Pride Parade on October 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, as it celebrates it's 30th anniversary this year.

South Africa Makes Strides and Passes Same-Sex Marriage Law

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has recently passed the Civil Union Amendment Bill which seeks to protect the rights of same-sex marriage.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has reportedly passed into law the Civil Union Amendment Bill which will prevent officiating officers from refusing to conduct same-sex marriages. President Ramaphosa officially passed the bill earlier today. This news comes as a welcome celebration for same-sex couples who have previously experienced difficulties with officially getting married before the state.


Read: Africa is Queer!

The Civil Union Amendment Bill repeals the former Bill of Civil Union Bill Act 17 of 2006 which legalised same-sex marriage. Originally, officiating officers had the right to refuse marrying same-sex couples on the grounds of conscience, religion, and belief. This clause reportedly prevented South African LGBT couples from getting married as many Home Affairs marriage officers would then exempt themselves from marrying LGBT couples.

Earlier in October this year, News24 reported that a Durban-based same-sex couple, Kyle Pillay and Muhammad Buckus, faced this particular difficulty for over a year. Home Affairs officials reportedly turned them away under the guise that there were no marriage officers but this was later found out to be false. In actual fact, none of the marriage officers had wanted to marry them. This amendment bill will finally change the lives of LGBT South Africans who constantly have to fight battles with a society that has not aligned itself with South Africa's progressive legislation.

Responses on Twitter have been mixed with LGBT members welcoming the news while some South Africans have commented that the amendment infringes on their basic human rights. Understandably, there is still considerable contention when it comes to same-sex marriages being called "civil unions" instead of "marriages" in the heteronormative sense.

Here are some of the responses on social media below:






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Photo credit should read KELVIN IKPEA/AFP via Getty Images

The Netherlands Returns Nigeria's Centuries-Old Stolen Artefact

The Netherlands has returned to Nigeria a 600-year-old stolen artefact, the Ife Terracotta, which has been received by Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

According to The Guardian Nigeria, the Netherlands has returned a 600-year-old artefact to Nigeria. This comes after the artefact was reportedly smuggled using fraudulent papers through Ghana to the Dutch country. Netherlands ambassador to Nigeria, Harry van Dijk, handed over the Ife Terracotta to Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture. The repatriation of the small but "priceless" Ife Terracotta has been a long journey considering it was reportedly smuggled out of Nigeria in 2019.

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