'I do [NOT]' - Home Affairs officials CAN refuse to marry same-sex couples

There's a fight to amend legislation which allows marriage officers at Home Affairs, to refuse to officiate unions between same-sex couples.

The current laws provide that where the official objects on the grounds of conscience, religion or belief they will not be forced to certify the union.

The Triangle Project's Matthew Clayton and Home Affair's Mkuseli Apleni joined Kieno Kammies on the Breakfast Show this morning.

READ: Home Affairs to introduce first phase of new, electronic visas in 2019

This is an option that applies to them but only for same sex couples. So the Civil Union Act can apply to different sex couples, so a man and a woman can get married under the Civil Union Act , but marriage officers are only allowed to opt out of marrying same-sex couples under the Act.

Matthew Clayton, Research, Advocacy and Policy Manager at Triangle Project

This leads to a situation where LGBTI people and same sex couples are finding it increasingly difficult to get married at Home Affairs offices.

Matthew Clayton, Research, Advocacy and Policy Manager at Triangle Project

Apleni said the first point which must be dealt with, is to ask ' Is there anybody in South Africa who doesn't have a right to marry?'

The argument should be there, not to say who marries who. What we want is to be married. What do we do now at Home Affairs, if they can say to us, here are the cases of people where Home Affairs refused to do this.

Mkuseli Apleni, Director General at Department of Home Affairs

He added that regardless of orientation, couples must make an appointment, no one can show up on the day and expect to be married.

You make an appointment and then we give you the date, If in this office, there is somebody who says nobody wants to do it, Home Affairs will still provide the service. We will get whoever to go there on the day of the appointment and conduct the marriage.

Mkuseli Apleni, Director General at Department of Home Affairs

Listen below to the full interview:


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