Gay Weddings, Cape Town

South Africa has provided full marriage equality for four years now. A report in the NYT featuring weddings in Cape Town has prompted some reflection on what makes the Saffer version of gay marriage special.

First, the story of marriage rights is totally tied up with the story of “the struggle”, as South Africans describe the long,  slow path to democracy and freedom.  When the new constitution was negotiated, it was a fundamental principle from the start that a strong bill of rights would be at its centre, providing protection from discrimination on the grounds of race, language or gender. Far-sighted negotiators were also able to introduce age, disability – and sexual orientation.  In the early years of the new government, the government had many other priorities, so that legislating protection for queer citizens languished on a back burner. (Sound familiar?)

Read the rest of this entry »