Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA USA
South Africa parliament OKs gay marriage
CAPE TOWN, South Africa - The South African parliament on Tuesday approved new legislation recognizing gay marriages — a first for a continent where homosexuality is largely taboo.
The National Assembly passed the Civil Union Bill, worked out after months of heated public discussion, by a majority of 230 to 41 votes despite criticism from both traditionalists and gay activists and warnings that it might be unconsitutional. There were three abstentions.
The bill provides for the "voluntary union of two persons, which is solemnized and registered by either a marriage or civil union." It does not specify whether they are heterosexual or homosexual partnerships.
But it also says marriage officers need not perform a ceremony between same-sex couples if doing so would conflict with his or her "conscience, religion and belief."
"When we attained our democracy, we sought to distinguish ourselves from an unjust painful past, by declaring that never again shall it be that any South African will be discriminated against on the basis of color, creed culture and sex," Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told the National Assembly.
The bill had been expected to pass given the overwhelming majority of the ruling
African National Congress, despite unease among rank and file lawmakers. It now has to go to the National Council of Provinces, which is expected to be a formality, before being signed into law by President Thabo Mbeki.
"Everybody always said I didn't get that job because my wife is white. If you're not strong enough to look through that then you have the issue."
-Charlie Strong, assistant head coach of the Florida Gators
Black presidents of the US=1
Black head coaches in the SEC=0
Something needs to change.