Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-06-09
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

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

This article shared 4796 times since Sun Jan 1, 2006
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


This article shared 4796 times since Sun Jan 1, 2006
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

LGBTQ advocates celebrate passage of Illinois marriage certificate name change legislation 2021-05-28
--From a press release - LGBTQ advocates are celebrating passage of state legislation that will provide certainty for individuals requesting that their Illinois marriage certificates reflect a legal name change. HB 2590 is an initiative of Equality Illinois and Chicago House ...


Gay News

LGBT-inclusive marriage-certificate act passes state General Assembly 2021-05-21
--From a press release - May 21. 2021 - In an effort to modernize marriage certificates in Illinois, state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz and state Rep. Ann Williams helped pass The Marriage Certificate Modernization Act through the Illinois General Assembly. The legislation ...


Gay News

Starting May 3, ceremonies in Cook County's downtown Marriage Court can be performed by Zoom 2021-04-30
- CHICAGO (April 30) — Marriage and civil union ceremonies at Cook County's downtown Marriage and Civil Union Court (Marriage Court) may be performed via Zoom videoconference, as well as in person, starting next week, according to ...


Gay News

Illinois Senate passes proposal removing gendered language from marriage certificates 2021-04-21
--From a press release - On April 21, on its third reading, the Illinois Senate passed (by a bipartisan vote of 44-13) a proposal that amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to allow the removal of gendered language ...


Gay News

Russian leader Putin officially bans same-sex marriage 2021-04-08
- On April 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a series of constitutional amendments that, among other things, formally defines marriage as between a man and a woman in the country, The Washington Blade reported. ...


Gay News

Global momentum for marriage equality surges,"Freedom to Marry Global" website created 2021-03-31
--From a freedomtomarry.org press release - April 1st marks twenty years since the Netherlands ended the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage, becoming the first of so far 30 countries worldwide to affirm the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Now, two ...


Gay News

WORLD Landmark ruling, Montreal's Gay Village, acid attack, anti-LGBTQ laws 2021-03-21
- In a landmark ruling, a Japanese court ruled that the government's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, NPR noted. Article 24 of Japan's constitution defines marriage as based on the "mutual consent of both sexes," which ...


Gay News

LETTER The Vatican's words and actions do not echo love 2021-03-18
- The LGBTQA community is responding with shock, anger and frustration at the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith statement concerning same-sex unions. Many in our community can't understand why Pope Francis would allow such a ...


Gay News

Pope Francis documentary 'Francesco' to debut March 26 2021-03-16
- Pope Francis—in the news lately because of the Catholic Church's stance that it cannot bless same-sex unions, adding that it is "not licit" to bless relationships that involve sexual activity outside of marriage—is the subject of ...


Gay News

DignityUSA: Vatican denying same-sex blessings "Exacerbates pain and anger" 2021-03-16
--From a press release - March 15, 2021. DignityUSA, the organization of Catholics working for justice, equality, and full inclusion of LGBTQI people in the church and society, is deeply disappointed by the Vatican's statement unequivocally denying blessings to same-sex coupl ...


Gay News

Vatican won't bless same-sex unions 2021-03-15
- The Catholic Church said it cannot bless same-sex unions, adding that it is "not licit" to bless relationships that involve sexual activity outside of marriage, according to an NBC News item. The Congregation for the Doctrine ...


Gay News

Commission: Jamaica should repeal same-sex ban 2021-02-18
- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the top rights body of the Americas, said in a symbolic landmark ruling on Feb. 17 that Jamaica should repeal its colonial-era gay sex ban, Reuters reported. Two Jamaicans ...


Gay News

Leading groups submit amicus briefs against discrimination against LGBT surviving spouses 2021-02-08
--From a press release - WASHINGTON D.C.—AARP, AARP Foundation, SAGE and the American Society on Aging (ASA) filed amicus briefs today in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit arguing that the ...


Gay News

WORLD Honduran Congress, deportation, Canadian support, athlete comes out 2021-01-24
- On Jan. 21, members of the Honduran Congress voted to amend the constitution, making it much harder to reverse existing hard-line bans on abortion and same-sex marriage, as lawmakers double down on socially conservative priorities, Openly ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage proposal, Creating Change, mural erased, 'Queer Santa' 2021-01-05
- A COVID-19 vaccine appointment at a Canton, South Dakota, hospital turned into a marriage proposal for one healthcare couple, CNN.com noted. Robbie Vargas-Cortes, 31, a paramedic and EMS supervisor, was scheduled to get his vaccination on ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

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.