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Old 12-01-2005, 03:13 PM   #1
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South Africa to legalize marriage equality

[q]South African Court Rules for Same-Sex Marriage

By Craig Timberg
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, December 1, 2005; 1:48 PM

JOHANNESBURG Dec. 1 -- South Africa's highest court ruled on Thursday that gays and lesbians have a right to marry, and it gave the national parliament one year to change the words "husband" and "wife" to "spouse" in its marital laws.

Under the ruling, which was greeted by jubilation by gays and lesbians and frustration by some church leaders, South Africa will become the first African nation and the fifth in the world to extend full marital rights to same-sex couples.

"It was a great victory for human rights and gay and lesbian people," said Dawie Nel, director of OUT, an advocacy group based in Pretoria, speaking by phone.

The 111-page opinion by the nation's Constitutional Court stems from a wedding held Dec. 11, 2004, between a long-time Pretoria couple, Marie Foure, 54, and Cecilia Bonthuys, 44, in a Christian church. They decided to wed after more than a decade of living together because a lower court approved same-sex marriages last year.

But the government's Department of Home Affairs resisted efforts to have their union legally registered, setting the stage for Thursday's court ruling.

Gay activists expressed hope that the ruling would lessen the violence and ridicule they say are common in South Africa despite a clause in the nation's constitution prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. Rape of lesbians by men claiming they can "cure" their attraction to women are also common, gay and lesbian leaders said.

"It's really, really difficult to be black and a lesbian in South Africa," said Thuli Madi, head of Behind the Mask, a Web-based magazine focused on gay life and issues. "As a woman, you are constantly harassed by the males in your community."

Elsewhere in Africa, attitudes toward homosexuality are more severe. Gay and lesbian sex is illegal on most of the continent, with punishments in some cases including the death penalty. Many religious and political leaders call homosexuality "un-African."

In South Africa, initial criticism of the ruling was strongest from some religious leaders but generally muted. The South African Council of Churches, an umbrella group whose member churches claim 26 million followers, said the ruling provoked such diverse reactions that a unified position was unlikely.

The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference said it would oppose the ruling in parliament but acknowledged that it had no prospect of stopping the legalization of same-sex marriage. The ruling did not compel religious groups to sanctify gay and lesbian marriages.

"The church respects that people have certain sexual orientations," said spokesman Efrem Tresoldi, speaking by phone from Pretoria, where the bishops' conference is based, "but we will never accept speaking in the same breath of same-sex unions and heterosexual marriage."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...120100583.html

[/q]



how encouraging! looks like the South Africans have learned well just how damaging states of aparthied are, and are unwilling to subject their gay and lesbian citizens to 2nd class citizenship.

and just how f'ing backwards does a state like Texas look these days?
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Old 12-01-2005, 03:28 PM   #2
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very cool. I wish other countries were that developed.
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Old 12-01-2005, 04:36 PM   #3
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That's very cool, I like this development.
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Old 12-01-2005, 04:40 PM   #4
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Re: South Africa to legalize marriage equality

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Irvine511
[B][q]

"The church respects that people have certain sexual orientations," said spokesman Efrem Tresoldi, speaking by phone from Pretoria, where the bishops' conference is based, "but we will never accept speaking in the same breath of same-sex unions and heterosexual marriage."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...120100583.html

[/q]



never say never...
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Old 12-01-2005, 04:53 PM   #5
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Re: South Africa to legalize marriage equality

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Irvine511
[B][q]

"The church respects that people have certain sexual orientations," said spokesman Efrem Tresoldi, speaking by phone from Pretoria, where the bishops' conference is based, "but we will never accept speaking in the same breath of same-sex unions and heterosexual marriage."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...120100583.html

[/q]



never say never...
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Old 12-01-2005, 06:49 PM   #6
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Religion is always dead last in progress and tolerance.

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Old 12-01-2005, 07:34 PM   #7
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Fuck religion, leave it behind. The glass is too 'half empty'. The half full half is making progress which needs to be celebrated so it doesn't stop there.
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Old 12-01-2005, 08:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Religion is always dead last in progress and tolerance.
Most people I know are religious to some degree (mostly Christians) and none of them would have any opposition to this, in South Africa or here in the States. I resent the constant assumption (not directing this at you, but in general) that religion makes people backwards and intolerant. I think it's just that backwards and intolerant people are more likely to be religious is all.
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:31 PM   #9
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Tolerance and progress come in many forms, and they cannot all be measured by the Western post-Enlightenment metaphor of the autonomous individual, unbound by obligations to anyone or anything save the institution of the state. I would not want, for example, to live in a society whose traditions oblige everyone to enter into an arranged marriage at a young age and devote their lives to raising large families, but it is arrogant bullshit to say that such societies understand nothing about tolerance. Religious institutions, by nature, are deeply involved in maintaining and supporting traditional ideals of what constitutes a strong, vibrant society, and this not unsurprisingly makes them generally slow to adapt to patterns of social change brought about by factors external to them. At some point this slowness to adapt inevitably brings them into conflict with their own mission to protect what is most precious, and at that point change does become a moral imperative. But this is an internal process, and religions could not fulfill their role in preserving and transmitting the legacy they have to share were it not.

to those churches that were ready to seize the moment and stand up in support of this necessary step forward.
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


Most people I know are religious to some degree (mostly Christians) and none of them would have any opposition to this,
if that is the case

why are most religious people in America, (mostly Christians)

looking the other way or jumping in on the gay attacking

are you resenting that?
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


I think it's just that backwards and intolerant people are more likely to be religious is all.
wow, i missed this!

i will admit to thinking this sometimes

but, I would not vocalize it.
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:46 PM   #12
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A great day for humanity and the eternal quest for equality...
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Old 12-02-2005, 12:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep


if that is the case

why are most religious people in America, (mostly Christians)

looking the other way or jumping in on the gay attacking

are you resenting that?
I don't know b/c none of the religious people I know are like that. So yes, I resent anyone who discriminates and is intolerant. It has nothing to do with religion, IMO because equal rights in terms of legal marriage isn't a religious issue
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