But the Constitutional Court, as the high court is known, effectively stayed its ruling for one year to give the Parliament time to amend a marriage law to reflect its decision. Should the legislature balk, the court said, the law will be automatically changed to make its provisions gender-neutral. Few expect the Parliament to resist, even though African nations are generally intolerant of gay relationships and many South Africans are conservative on social issues. Among political factions here, only the tiny African Christian Democratic Party, whose positions carry a strong religious undercurrent, called for a constitutional amendment to bar gay marriages. The African National Congress, which controls the presidency and more than two-thirds of parliament's seats, was silent on the court's decision. The Constitutional Court's ruling expanded on a decision by the national Supreme Court of Appeal that affirmed the marriage of a lesbian couple, who were nonetheless unable to register their union with the government's Home Affairs department.
Gay Rights, Homophobic Wrongs
Homosexuality still a crime in 38 African countries | Al Jazeera America
The country has some of the most progressive laws in the world, but refugees fleeing homophobia elsewhere often find a country that is morally conservative, hostile, and profoundly violent. The bimonthly trip is a long one and, on the surface, unnecessary: Mfuleni, the impoverished township where he rents a room, has its own HIV-treatment center. Yet to Ndodana, a slender, dreadlocked Zimbabwean in his early 30s, going there is not an option. The clinic is run-down and often overcrowded. Most of all, though, he fears harassment for being gay. The country now has some of the most progressive LGBTQ laws in the world, including full constitutional protections against discrimination.
List of LGBT rights organizations
There is arguably no worse place in the world to be gay than Africa. Today more than two-thirds of African countries have laws criminalising homosexual acts and across the continent the imprisonment, murder and abuse of gays has become part of the fabric of society. So to many Africans the Rainbow Flag, which has emerged as one of the most powerful and recognisable 21st Century symbols of gay rights, is an unknown quantity. Now tourism chiefs in South Africa want to transform the "Rainbow Nation" into a tourist safe-haven for gay and lesbian travellers. The eight double rooms in Cape Town's Amsterdam House, founded in , are usually fully booked.
A national soccer star and a well-known lesbian human rights activist, she had been beaten up, gang-raped and stabbed 25 times in the face, chest and legs — even under the feet. This past April, in a case remarkably similar , the body of another lesbian was found in an alley in Kwa Thema. Her eyeballs were found outside their sockets. The exact number of such victims is unknown, but there are weekly reports here of violence against sexual minorities. South Africa was the first country in the world to put a constitutional ban on discrimination by any individual or institution, private or public, on the basis of sexual orientation.