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Friday, 31 August 2018 22:45

MP introduced an amendment to end the right of refusal to perform same-sex marriages in South Africa

Written by 

Deidre Carter


In South Africa, MP Deidre Carter introduced a bill to make sure that marriage officers' right of exemption regarding same-sex marriage is revoked.

The Civil Union Act stipulates that marriage officers can refuse to celebrate same-sex unions. This right of refusal can be based on their conscience, religion, and belief.

Carter introduced this measure following complaints from same-sex couples who were being turned away from some Home Affairs officials while they wanted to get married.

She thinks the Civil Union Act discriminates against LGBT couples since civil servants may refuse to celebrate their marriage. For her, this goes against the constitution that promotes equality.

“In my mind, this provision was clearly [unconstitutional] for a number of reasons”, Carter said.

“Firstly, our Bill of Rights, as enshrined in section 9(3) of our Constitution, provides that the state may not unfairly discriminate, directly or indirectly, against anyone on a number of grounds, including those of gender, sex, and sexual orientation," she explained.

“Secondly, Chapter 10 of our Constitution, which sets out the values and principles governing our public administration provides that services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias.”

Now we have to wait and see if the Parliament approves this measure. Parliamentarians across the political divide support the bill.


Lezbelib is the online magazine that helps LGBTQ+ women to stay updated with entertaining blogs and breaking news about LGBT rights.