France’s first lady learns about township life from South African LGBT activists

Valérie Trierweiler used her partner François Hollande’s state visit to discuss how constitutional rights are not translating to a better life for some LGBTI people

France’s first lady learns about township life from South African LGBT activists
16 October 2013

France’s First Lady Valérie Trierweiler has met South African LGBT activists to discuss how daily life doesn’t match the promise of the country’s constitution.

She held the talks on Monday (14 October) while she and her partner, French President François Hollande, were in the country for a two-day state visit.

Anthony Manion, director of Gala (Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action), attended the meeting and told AFP news agency Trierweiler wanted ‘to talk about the daily lives and experience of gay or bisexual women in South Africa who are married or in a relationship’.

Anti-gay violence and corrective rapes of lesbians are a major threat to the country’s LGBTI community, though exact figures are not known.

Traditional leaders in the country have tried and failed to remove equality for homosexuals from the constitution.

But despite same-sex marriage and legal protections, poorer, black LGBTI people in particular still face significant challenges.

Phindi Malaza from the Forum for the Empowerment of Women, told AFP: ‘As LGBTI people living in a township we are really not enjoying those rights and privileges in the constitution.

‘It’s beautiful on paper, but the daily lives say something different.’

Trierweiler was a key player in supporting Hollande and others to introduce same-sex marriage in France this year.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Ruth Bader Ginsburg believes gay marriage will reach US Supreme Court within next year

Makes prediction when asked about constitutionality of gay marriage
No thumbnail available

Is Tom Daley's boyfriend Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black?

Olympic diver did not name his new love in coming out video but reports surface that it is Milk screenwriter
No thumbnail available

Oregon state’s Teacher of the Year says he was fired for speaking openly about being gay

Brett Bingham was named Oregon’s 2014 Teacher of the Year but he was fired on Friday and he says speaking openly about being gay was the reason why
No thumbnail available

‘The violence is just too much,’ LGBT Zimbabweans respond to Mugabe ‘victory’

LGBT Zimbabweans speak anonymously about the fear, harassment and violence experienced under the president’s anti-gay campaign
No thumbnail available

Catholic students wear rainbow socks at graduation to support gay youth

Graduating students wanted to make a statement saying that they do not go to a homophobic school
No thumbnail available

Oxford English Dictionary considers including gender-neutral honorific

Mx is already used by government departments, councils and universities throughout the UK
No thumbnail available

Fox News anchor blasts report that he was demoted because of his sexuality

Shepard Smith writes in memo to co-workers: 'Things you might read today are horsesh*t'
No thumbnail available

4 out of 5 Australians want free vote on same-sex marriage

New figures reveal a vast majority of Australian voters support marriage equality and want conservative political parties to allow a conscience vote on it
No thumbnail available

Ousted Scout mom becomes overnight activist

Jennifer Tyrrell takes on Boys Scouts of America for its anti-gay policies
No thumbnail available

Young, Chinese, gay and proud

Gay Star News interviews Mojo Wan, Shanghai’s most prolific illustrator