Same-sex marriage amendment Bill approved
Publish date: 03 December 2018
Issue Number: 802
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa
The National Assembly’s Home Affairs Committee has adopted the Civil Union Amendment Bill, notes a News24 report. The Bill affords same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. ‘The committee is of the view that this amendment is a strong affirmation to the right of equality before the law and further prevents any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,’ parliamentary communication service's Hlomani Chauke said in a statement. The purpose behind the amendment was to repeal section 6 of the Civil Union Act, which allowed a marriage officer to inform the Minister that ‘he or she objects on the ground of conscience, religion and belief to solemnising a civil union between persons of the same sex’. ‘This infringed the right to equality before the law and the right not to be discriminated against by the state on grounds of sexual orientation,’ Chauke explained. The Bill proposes a transitional period of 24 months for the Department of Home Affairs to enable officers an opportunity to be trained if it is passed.