LGBTI global news 24-7

South Africa must change its tune for LGBTI citizens

The South African constitution should be used and enforced, not changed to freeze out gay and trans citizens, says lesbian human rights campaigner Melanie Nathan
National Assembly of South Africa: MPs should promote LGBTI rights and uphold the constitution.
Photo by Kaishu Tai.

South Africa has been lauded for its all-inclusive constitution, which entrenches full equality for all, making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

But a group of empowered traditionalists have launched an attack on these rights through a parliamentary constitutional review process, exacerbating and honing the homophobic reality that has escaped the South African Constitution’s quest since its inception.

When the South African Apartheid government fell, former President Nelson Mandela, led the country to a constitution with the promise of ‘never again’. Never again would South Africa discriminate against any group of person and all would have their rights fully entrenched and protected by the constitution.

However when it came to LGBTI rights the unique milieu was not ready for such an advanced constitution and so tolerance and acceptance of gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender and intersexed people lagged behind the law. Instead of finding a path to enlightenment to effect the synchronization, homophobia festered through years of perpetuating myth.

Now to add fuel to the fire, the Traditional Leaders, comprised of members of Parliament and tribal chieftains, nursing century old legacies, impart license to violence with their newfound parliamentary discussions to revoke equality.

The truth is that, for over 20 years, South Africa’s fully equal constitution has merely purported to protect LGBTI people from discrimination. But, citing the excuse of cultural context, it has done anything but protect gay, trans and intersex citizens from hate and harm. The ANC led South African government, with little resistance from other political parties, has failed to protect LGBTI people from the endemic brutality and violence, resulting from homophobia.

Like his predecessors, President Jacob Zuma’s government has done nothing to fight homophobia. And instead of tackling the cultural disdain, through its omission, its silence, and appointments of admitted homophobes to judiciary and ambassadorships, it may well be accused of the tacit endorsement of hate-based violence against sexual minorities.

Perhaps the recent hike in particularly brutal murders amongst lesbians, gays and transgender South Africans is no coincidence. For the past months the messaging of the Traditional Leaders against LGBT rights has been irresponsible. Member of Parliament Nkosi Patekile Holomisa, chairman of the Review Committee who is a member of the ANC, proclaimed: ‘The ANC knows that the great majority of South Africans do not want to promote or protect the rights of gays and lesbians.’

While the ANC leadership distanced itself from the remarks and has noted it does not agree with the revocation of the entrenched rights for LGBTI South Africans, absolutely no steps have been taken to change the paradigm.

What is needed:

  • Crimes committed where hate is a motivation must carry stronger sentences, through the implementation of hate crimes legislation.
  • Victims and families must receive more government support.
  • The government must embark upon a radical education campaign to counter the myth that being attracted to a member of the same-sex is un-African.
  • President Zuma should publicly call on the Traditional Leaders to scrap their discussions about stripping fellow South Africans of their constitutional rights.
  • All members of parliament who fail to uphold their oath to protect the constitution of South Africa should be reprimanded and recalled, as being unworthy of office.
  • South Africa should ensure the revocation of any counter-productive process that can take away rights.

The constitution is a critical document, which ought not be bounced around at the whim of one group and the expense of another. If the message were to change perhaps so too shall the hearts. It is time for South Africans to learn to live their awesome constitution.

Melanie Nathan is the founding director of Private Courts Inc, a mediation, LGBTI equality and human rights advocacy firm based in San Francisco. She publishes and is co-producing Gay USA: the Movie. Follow her on Twitter here.

Comment on a news story


I truly feel comparing black and white digital cameras with it's motion picture counterpart is a lot like looking at apples with oranges. They just usually are not exactly the same thing in look and feel. I reviewed this in depth in part 1 with this series. When conversing with photographer Hellen Truck Meene she explain video as getting "wonder". Now I'm unclear what the techical expression for wonder is but wonderfully I know what exactly Hellen signifies.

People are really so much concerned about health related issues. I am now bookmarked to this site. Expert NYC SEO

You got a good point on that. They should try to be fair. If I were there I would just try to be more sensitive. Thanks on this.

I'm 25 years old, I was convinced I would have grown out of this by now, I tried medical stuff, and it bleached all my clothes and did nothing for my acne. If I'd read the product information a little more closely, I may have noticed, "baked snack formed in pea-pod shape from dried peas and a little rice." They're not so "healthy" either. Joan Rivers' stuff isn't perfect--it's time-consuming to put on and is tricky to keep it from being obvious...but it can be done, and for someone like me whose hair is very thin up front, it's the better choice. As a added Bonus i was to print off my Android Smartphone using the App called "Brother iPrint&Scan" I must say it works great even though the Laser printer does not have a Scan Option i had no issues with the app itself since its compatible with the Brother(tm) HL-2270DW Printer.All you need to do is download the App it can be found in Chlorella Genome Size Spirulina Improve Egg Quality None of them came close to the performance I was used to. It seems to do everything. Completely alleviated my back issues on long drives. Spirulina Improve Egg Quality Read more Spirulina Arkopharma Opinioni

Young people who happen to be itching that will explore the rest of the world can see deals meant for airfare together with hotels on multilple web sites; however, wading through most of the fluff to choose the very perfect student holiday deals is a cumbersome endeavor.
info loker bekasi
info loker bandung
info loker banjarmasin
info loker bogor

Sometimes it is extremely difficult to explore good and useful information out there when doing research. Now I will send it to my colleagues as well. Thanks for helping me out. There are so many different prospects when it comes to this subject. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this particular aspect and making it easier for us. The Carrie Diaries Season 1 DVD Box Set | Army Wives Seasons 1-7 DVD Box Set | The OC Seasons 1-4 DVD Box Set | Married With Children Seasons 1-11 DVD Box Set | The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show DVD

Bricks-and-mortar security is primary part for security. If you can't have physical the means to access network, you cannot use it all. If you cannot plug cable you don't need network. It's situation during wired word of mouth.

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it! There are a lot of sites and articles out there on this particular point, but you have captured another side of the subject. This is good content thank you for adding it here. La Femme Nikita Seasons 1-5 DVD Box Set | Glee Seasons 1-4 DVD Box Set | The Golden Girls Seasons1-7 DVD Box Set | The Good Wife Seasons 1-4 DVD Box Set

Even as see, high decreased style could lead an innovative space meant for another variety of fashion, you will realize many very best designers own printed huge low dress up for proms on line, if everyone still need ideas of, just drive to the internet and discover one.

Young people who happen to be itching that will explore the rest of the world can see deals meant for airfare together with hotels on multilple web sites; however, wading through most of the fluff to choose the very perfect student holiday deals is a cumbersome endeavor.

You know about any joys for gift giving however is not everyone should purchase gifts that will be meaningful, important, and can be as superior gifts. You might want to buy merchandise for other individuals very commonly.