17 December 2018


Home Affairs to cater for LGBTI marriages


This article was first published on SAnews.gov.za and has been modified for Semphete


09 September 2016

The Department of Home Affairs says it has designed a new marriage process to cater for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community.

A list of offices with marriage officers that can conduct same-sex marriages has been finalised to give everyone access to dignified marriage ceremonies.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said his department remains committed to playing a leading role in issues of identity and nation building. He reiterated his department's commitment to a sustained partnership with the LGBTI stakeholders.

"All the parties spoke in one voice on the imperative to uphold the democratic values and ethos underpinning the Constitution. With the Constitution of the Republic and its entrenched Bill of Rights serving as the glue that holds us together, we were able to find each other on these fundamental issues of protecting the rights of all persons, while consciously promoting diversity, national unity, nation building and social cohesion," the Minister said at a media briefing in Pretoria on Monday.

Representatives from Home Affairs had earlier met with the chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), Advocate Lawrence Mushwana, as well as LGBTI representatives.

Minister Gigaba said inroads were made in attending to the legitimate concerns from the LGBTI stakeholders regarding the manner in which certain Home Affairs officials discriminated against LGBTI people.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had earlier in June met with representatives of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersexed community in Pretoria. Recommendations were announced on the comprehensive steps to be taken to address concerns raised on the protection and promotion of the human rights of the LGBTI community in SA.

At the time the LGBTI community hailed the minister for a quick response to their concerns and for setting timelines for ensuring that Home Affairs officials are equipped to serve them appropriately.

Joshua Sehoole, regional coordinator for Iranti-org, applauded Gigaba's intervention.
"We believe very firmly that in going forward and in mapping out an approach to the different issues, it is important to engage the community affected and to come to the best possible intervention, together with the community itself. We're also very happy with the minister's commitment to the timelines that he set and the urgency he is acting with," said Sehoole.
"We are always very happy when the department acts to recognise the human rights of LGBTI people in the country. We also hope that this is something that other government departments and the government as a whole will continue to do, not only nationally, but in the region and globally."