South Africa Legalizes Gay ‘Marriage’ While Tasmania Rejects It

By Terry Vanderheyden

CAPE TOWN, December 1, 2005 ( – South Africa’s highest court has ruled to allow same-sex “marriage.”

The country’s Constitutional Court has ordered parliament to amend the law within one year, mandating a change to the wording of the marriage law from the “union between a man and a woman” to the “union between two persons.”

“The common law definition of marriage is declared to be inconsistent with the constitution and invalid to the extent that it does not permit same-sex couples to enjoy the status and benefits it accords heterosexual couples,” claimed Justice Albie Sachs, according to the AFP.

The case came to the Supreme Court after a lesbian couple, Marie Fourie and Cecilia Bonthuys, who were told by the Supreme Court of Appeal last November that they could “marry”, were later denied a license by the Department of Home Affairs.

One reader, in a forum responding to BBC coverage, condemned the move. “Same-sex marriages are not only un-African, they are inhuman and should be outlawed in every society,” Zambian Jack Zimba wrote. “The South African judges have thrown their country to the dogs and God will judge them harshly.”

Meanwhile, the Tasmania state legislature has voted against allowing same-sex “marriage.” The Government and Liberals opposed a move by the Green party Wednesday. Attorney-General Judy Jackson argued that the state lacks the constitutional power to amend marriage laws.


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