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Ear to the Ground

S. Africa Parliament OKs Gay Marriage

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Posted on Nov 15, 2006

South Africa’s National Assembly approved new legislation recognizing gay marriages. So now America is lagging behind the former apartheid state in civil rights.


AP:

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.

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By Tadhg O'Brien, November 17, 2006 at 8:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Apologies, you can ignore my previous comment submitted.

I just realised I read the comment wrong, where it says “The US wasn’t the first nation to free slaves” I had mistakenly read it as the ‘US was the first nation ...’

My mistake, apologies again!

Tadhg O’Brien

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By Tadhg O'Brien, November 17, 2006 at 7:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Derek writes:

“It’s embarrassing that South Africa a struggling nation had the guts to pass a marraige bill for gay people while the US has not.  The US wasn’t the first nation to free slaves or the first to give women voting rights so I think the US will turn around someday.”

Sorry, Derek, but you were beaten to it - a few countries allowed women to vote before America. The first proper nation to allow women full voting rights was New Zealand in 1893. It wasn’t until 1920 that the US did the same.

As for slavery, sorry again, but America was a latecomer here. Slave-trading was banned in the British Empire with the introduction of the ‘Abolition of the Slave Trade Act’ in 1807, and all forms of slavery were prohibited by the British ‘Slavery Abolition Act’ in 1833, when all slaves were granted their freedom in the British Empire (not just the UK but a significant portion of the globe at the time).

The British abolition of slavery was often cited by American anti-slavery activists. It wasn’t until 1863 that American slaves were granted their freedom.

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By Derek, November 16, 2006 at 2:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A great victory for gay people in South Africa.  Maybe this will help lessen the EXTREME anti-gay sentiment throughout Africa.  Cheers for South Africa.

It’s embarrassing that South Africa a struggling nation had the guts to pass a marraige bill for gay people while the US has not.  The US wasn’t the first nation to free slaves or the first to give women voting rights so I think the US will turn around someday.

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By C Quil, November 15, 2006 at 11:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The (neo)Conservative minority government in Canada is planning to bring up the whole gay marriage thing again sometime soon, if the government hasn’t been defeated by then.

Over 10,000 same-sex couples have been married in Canada since the law was passed. Canadians overwhelmingly don’t want this brought up and debated again, but the (neo)Conservatives must pander to the base.

I wrote to my Member of Parliament, a (neo)Conservative ever since this electoral district was gerrymandered a few years ago. His reply was very clever, obviously the party line to be handed out to anyone who disagreed with discrimination and witholding of rights from all our citizens. It made it appear that I was the intolerant one for questioning Our Great Leader’s plans to stir up discord.

Objections to same-sex marriage are going to start falling like dominoes all over the world, just like the support for slavery did one hundred and fifty years ago, or so I hope. It’s about time our glorious leaders started listening to the people they supposedly represent.

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