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.
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:
This literally made my Friday! We did it 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 https://t.co/MgC2g0DZNS— Letlhogonolo (@Letlhogonolo) 1603437846.0
Might fuck around and get married today, you know, for the bants. For the chats.— Jamil F. Khan (@Jamil F. Khan) 1603445913.0
I know that a lot of LGBT+ people feel like civil union rights instead of traditional marriage rights undermines th… https://t.co/HiqVQJ3jmP— Natalie (@Natalie) 1603346508.0
I'm uncomfortable with this shared notion that queer individuals must be almost humbly thankful when a bill/law is… https://t.co/330XLs0d4K— Magics' Guardian (@Magics' Guardian) 1603443167.0
@News24 @ntwaagae How about Christians, Pastors will be forced to marry gays also?— Effort (@Effort) 1603436617.0
@effort_maguta @News24 @ntwaagae No it doesn't... Just like a doctor cannot refuse to help any patient, this is the… https://t.co/xyAbXLL0JN— . (@.) 1603456448.0
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