Friday, September 29, 2006

Gay marriages are ungodly and unAfrican

In a frightening echo of Robert Mugabe and Sam Nujoma, so says Jacob Zuma, the man who wants to succeed Mbeki as leader of the ANC and president of South Africa.

An extract from the Mail & Guardian editorial about tomorrow's Jo'burg Pride:

The right to be protected from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation is, famously, established in our Constitution, and with it the right to equality before the law, which must, of course, include marriage.

That Constitution is the signal achievement of our negotiated revolution -- a revolution in which Zuma played no small part. Is it possible that he wanted the rest of the country to hear him, and to see in him a champion of the new conservatism?

Equally disturbing is that his remarks find an echo in the mainstream of government. The Constitutional Court has ordered Parliament to make legislative provision for same-sex marriages by the end of the year. This could easily have been achieved by inserting the words “or spouse” into the Marriages Act alongside the gender specific “husband” and “wife”. Instead MPs are considering the Civil Unions Bill, which seeks to carve out a separate legal regime for same-sex partners in the interests of “social cohesion”. This is sexual orientation apartheid.

Why is a government that has stood firm on the death penalty and abortion rights now on the run from religious and cultural conservatives? Is the ANC, mindful of the deep unhappiness within its ranks over its stance on these issues, unwilling to risk a principled stance when divisions run so deep and the stakes are so high?

The Constitution is not to be held to ransom by the brutal politics of the moment. Saturday’s marchers march for all of us.


Thankfully, the ANC Youth League, Cosatu and the SACP, staunch Zuma supporters during his corruption and rape trials, have distanced themselves from his latest remarks.

4 Comments:

Blogger City Slicker said...

well done you

4:29 pm  
Blogger Old Knudsen said...

Everyone should be allowed to get married, I believe in equal opportunity miserableness, the old ball and chain, the "have you been at the pub again?" throw some children in and we'll see about that disposable income.

6:13 pm  
Blogger Dawn said...

I find it so difficult to make sense out of the politics of South Africa - perhaps if I were still there I would find more clarity. I would love to be at Zoo Lake tomorrow. I remember the time in the 80s when my my friend would cruise the parking lot after a night out at Mandy's - he would fondly refer to it as Swan Lake. :o)

9:54 pm  
Blogger andrea said...

I just read today that Elton John refuses to call his relationship with his "life partner" a marriage.

9:46 pm  

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