South Africa’s parliament passed a bill on Wednesday 1st July, that bars marriage officers from objecting to marrying same-sex couples.
As also reported on Times Live , the latest stride South Africa has taken in advancing LGBT+ rights is strengthening its 2006 legislation that enshrined marriage equality.
What basically happened was that the National Council of Provinces passed the Civil Union Amendment Bill that was drafted by lawmakers to repeal repeal section six of the Civil Union Act. This section, unfortunately, left some “decision” freedom to marriage officers to refuse to marry a same-sex couple using religion as justification.
Section six has remained legal for too many years, and has caused loads of proplems to LGBT+ couple willing to get married in cities where marriage officers were against their marriage. Now this is no longer a possibility.
On Wednesday, Shahidabibi Shaik – chairperson of the select committee on justice – explained that section six has long chaffed with various sections of the constitution, such as section 15 that includes the right to freedom of religious thought, belief, or opinion; or section 9 (c) that protects South African citizens from being unfairly discriminated against based on their beliefs.
Shaik said: “Those in favour of the repeal of section six argued that section six is problematic as it allows the marriage office to impose a moral judgment towards same-sex couples”.