Thursday, December 1, 2005

South African Gay Weddings

Another important step forward for gay marriage internationally. The article is vague about how the new RSA constitution bans discrimination against gays, so I'm unclear whether it means the government is banned from discriminating (which is as it should be), or if people in their private lives are also banned from discriminating (which would be interesting at the cotillion ball).

UPDATE: Washington Post reports:

Gay activists expressed hope that the ruling would lessen the violence and ridicule they say are common in South Africa despite a clause in the nation's constitution prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. Rape of lesbians by men claiming they can "cure" their attraction to women are also common, gay and lesbian leaders said.

Here are two things that couldn't have less to do with the concept of gay marriage. Before gay marriage was legal, was violence against gays any more permissable under law than it is now? Does legalizing gay marriage suddenly also make rape illegal? Didn't think so. I'm obviously no student of law in the RSA, but I suspect rape was already illegal, regardless of the sexual orientation of the victim (or the rapist, for that matter). A note to my fellow proponents of legalizing gay marriage in the U.S.: Stay on message. Just talk about gay marriage and why it should be legal. Don't talk about issues that are not even tangentially related. We will eventually win based on the strength of the appropriate argument alone.



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