Marriage officers must tie the knot for same-sex couples in civil unions

Last week, Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs adopted a bill which aims to repeal legislation involved in civil unions.

The Civil Union Amendment Bill's aim is to repeal section 6 of the principal act, which allowed a marriage officer to inform the minister that he or she objects on the ground of conscience, religion, and belief to solemnising a civil union between persons of the same sex.

READ: 'Its high time churches moved forward on same-sex couples'

Constitutional law expert Professor Pierre De Vos says the bill is a good first step, as now people who work for the state no longer have the right to choose to discriminate against certain citizens.

But in South Africa, we have three marriage acts and one of them really has a higher status ...called the Marriage Act.

Professor Pierre De Vos, Constitutional Law Expert Professor

Then you have the Civil Union Act and then you have the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act.

Professor Pierre De Vos, Constitutional Law Expert Professor

He adds that the argument is that if you get married in terms of these other acts you don't have the same status and people called them civil union marriages..

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This article first appeared on 702 : Marriage officers must tie the knot for same-sex couples in civil unions


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