Saturday, December 3, 2016

Stigma IS the Enemy; 1

For those of us Africans from north of the South African border, SA is the gay heaven of the continent....!

Hey, I been there, I have felt it, the desire, the longing to experience all that is good and beautiful in the country..., all that is so far from being realised by the rest of the continent.

Headlines like "Marking 10 Years of Same Sex Marriage in South Africa"
Pic from
make us ooze with jealous....

Of course, we do.

That victory came after a decisive court victory. And, as the first couple to get married are quoted saying; (Photo

 “I just have one message I would like to give to everybody – that we are just two men who love each other and who have loved each other for a long time.” The couple are still married today.
And, yes, the courts continue to uphold the rights of Queer South Africans to be equal before the law. Most recent case, apparently because it was not solved by the compromise that parliament stitched together have not been resolved. They are there, and they are real.
The churches think otherwise, not all Home Affairs offices offer the service, people have been turned away humiliated and disdained when they ask for the service.

The courts continue the support, after all, the Constitutional involvement remains the most powerful of driving LEGAL forces.

The Constitutional Court has upheld the right of unmarried partners in a same-sex relationship to inherit each other’s estate, even without a will.

---The court ruled in favour of Eric Duplan, who was in a permanent relationship with Cornelius Laubscher from 2003 until February 2015, when Laubscher died, without leaving a will.

Although they lived together as life partners they never married under the Civil Union Act. Following a claim on the estate by Laubscher’s family, Duplan was named the rightful heir by the courts.

The deceased man’s brother, Rasmus Laubscher, then appealed the ruling in the Constitutional Court. The case hinged on a previous Constitutional Court ruling, known as the Gory order, made before the Civil Union Act was signed into law.

The order decided that a “partner in a permanent same-sex life partnership in which the partners have undertaken reciprocal duties of support” is entitled to inherit the deceased partner’s estate under the Intestate Succession Act

That case was in part because though Gay Marriage was supposed to be exactly the same as hetero marriage, the 'compromise' worked not to be like so. Thus this particular case, and this win...., which is almost 'invisible' in the SA press....

Funny country, is SA.

But, as Constitutional Court Justice Cameron reminded us on World AIDS, in challenges like ours, Queer Africans, and other marginalised minorities, we forget that the LAW is not the answer, solution, or only thing to look out to.

Because, as simply and eloquently as Justice Cameron put it, STIGMA IS THE ENEMY.

He was speaking about the fantastic gains against the HIV epidemic as opposed to the reality for a person living with HIV. Again, medical miracles everywhere..., but STIGMA remains the biggest challenge.

And, that is the one single most important thing that we cannot forget.

Because, despite the stellar, brilliant, fantastic, first-on-the-continent achievements, for Queer South Africans, being gay can be as haunting a journey fraught with pitfalls, as for the rest of Queer Africa.

We shall be getting into this in the next post 


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