Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-10-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

South Africa Court Backs Same-Sex Marriage
by REX WOCKNER
2006-01-01

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


South Africa's top court legalized same-sex marriage Dec. 1, saying that banning it violates the nation's post-apartheid Constitution, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The Constitutional Court gave Parliament one year to make the necessary changes in law. If Parliament fails to act, the court will rewrite the Marriage Act itself.

Ten judges supported the ruling and one dissented—but only so she could argue that the ruling should take effect immediately rather than after a year.

In a 'media summary' of the case, the judges said: 'The exclusion of same-sex couples from the benefits and responsibilities of marriage was not a small and tangential inconvenience resulting from a few surviving relics of societal prejudice destined to evaporate like the morning dew. It represented a harsh if oblique statement by the law that same-sex couples are outsiders, and that their need for affirmation and protection of their intimate relations as human beings is somehow less than that of heterosexual couples. It signifies that their capacity for love, commitment and accepting responsibility is by definition less worthy of regard than that of heterosexual couples. The intangible damage to same-sex couples is as severe as the material deprivation. They are not entitled to celebrate their commitment to each other in a joyous public event recognised by the law. They are obliged to live in a state of legal blankness in which their unions remain unmarked by the showering of presents and the commemoration of anniversaries so celebrated in our culture.'

The decision came in a case brought by Pretoria couple Marie Fourie and Cecelia Bonthuys, after the government refused to recognize their 2002 marriage. The ruling also covered a case brought by the Gay and Lesbian Equality Project which challenged the Marriage Act's references to 'husband' and 'wife.'

Full same-sex marriage also is allowed in Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain and Massachusetts.

_____

The Constitutional Court, as the high court is known, postponed its ruling for one year to give the Parliament time to amend a 1961 marriage law to reflect its decision. Should the legislature resist, the court said, the statute will be automatically changed to make its provisions gender-neutral. However, few expect the Parliament to balk. The African National Congress, which controls the presidency and more than two-thirds of the Parliament's seats, did not comment on the court's decision.

The Court's ruling followed a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling in November 2004 that said same-sex couples could get married following an application by lesbian couple Marie Fourie and Cecilia Bonthuys, News24.com reported. The government had appealed the ruling, arguing that the Supreme Court had interfered with the Parliament's authority to make laws. However, the Constitutional Court said that the refusal to give legal status to gay marriages, though grounded in common law, violated the constitution's guarantee of equal rights.

In South Africa, homosexuality is not the burning social issue that it is in the United States—a conclusion that some might find astounding for a country that only ended apartheid ( the social policy or racial segregation involving political and economic and legal discrimination against non-whites ) in the early '90s, according to BBC News. South African gays and lesbians have recently won a series of court rulings extending to them the rights and protections afforded other citizens. The government-sponsored tourism board has even announced an advertising blitz in Britain aimed at attracting gay couples to Cape Town 'for the honeymoon of their dreams in 2006.' Johannesburg recently made a solid and well-respected bid to host the 2010 Gay Games, but lost the vote to Cologne, Germany.  

Some gay-rights groups have expressed disappointment over the one-year delay. However, most organizations have nothing but praise for the ruling. The Joint Working Group—a coalition of organizations that includes The Triangle Project and The Forum for the Empowerment of Women—issued in a statement that 'the Court 'recognizes the multitude of family formation in South Africa, and the inappropriateness of entrenching any particular form as the only socially and legally acceptable one.' We believe that this principle should guide the statutory process of correcting the current defects in marriage laws, such that lesbian and gay people will be able to claim their right to equal social and legal status in marriage.'

The Human Rights Campaign also praised the Court's decision. 'This ruling demonstrates South Africa's commitment to equality for all of its citizens,' Seth Kilbourn, vice president of the Human Rights Campaign Marriage Project, said in an official statement. 'South Africa joins the trend of nations around the world empowering every couple with the same tools to protect their families, and recognizing their equal dignity as citizens.'

— Also contributing: Andrew Davis


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WORLD Marriage news, Oscar Wilde, Ugandan activist dies, Iris Prize 2019-10-22 - People of the same sex are now allowed to get married in Northern Ireland, the BBC reported. It's been legal in England, Wales ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage advocate divorcing, Black gay couple, trans death 2019-10-08 - A Utah state lawmaker who filed a lawsuit that successfully overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage is separating from his husband, U.S. ...


Gay News

Kol Hadash Congregation embraces LGBTQ inclusivity 2019-10-02 - Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation, which is housed inside North Shore Unitarian Church in Deerfield, has been a leader in LGBTQ-inclusivity since its founding ...


Gay News

WORLD Japanese case, Jamaica event canceled, Putin's law 2019-09-24 - A Japanese court awarded damages to a woman who broke up with her same-sex partner because of infidelity—recognizing their common-law partnership despite same-sex ...


Gay News

WORLD Gay leaders, Mexican trans women, Czech marriage bill 2019-09-17 - In a notable meeting between two out heads of government, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg hosted his counterpart from Serbia, Ana Brnabic, ...


Gay News

Arizona Supreme Court grants Phoenix stationary shop license to discriminate 2019-09-16 - (Phoenix, AZ, September 16, 2019) — The Arizona Supreme Court today issued a 4-3 decision reversing a lower court ruling that had denied ...


Gay News

Same-sex couple sues State Dept. for treating daughter as born out of wedlock 2019-09-12 - BALTIMORE, MD—Today, Immigration Equality, Lambda Legal, and pro bono counsel Morgan Lewis filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Maryland against ...


Gay News

WORLD Bermuda Pride, Russian bakery, marriage in Oaxaca 2019-09-03 - Organizers of the first Bermuda Pride parade, which took place Aug. 31, said they were overwhelmed with the outpouring of support, The Royal ...


Gay News

WORLD South African judge, China on marriage, teens plead not guilty 2019-08-27 - In South Africa, after 25 years in the judicial arena, Edwin Cameron has retired as a Constitutional Court judge, TheSouthAfrican.com reported. According to ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans death, ACA, 1957 gay wedding, serial killer 2019-08-21 - Several bridges and the city hall building in Houston were lit in transgender flag colors to honor the memory of Tracy Single, 22—a ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.