Lesbians and the Civil Union Act in South Africa: a critical reflection
Introduction: South Africa is a country that warrants specific interest in the exploration of the significance of the liberal rights that have been assigned to homosexuals in the context of its quest towards citizenship and equality for all. There are several indicators that make this country unique with regard to the recognition of sexual orientation. Firstly, it is the only country on the African continent that ensconced the right to sexual orientation in its constitution; secondly, through protracted litigation homosexuals were afforded other significant rights, amongst them, the right to adopt; the right to a deceased partner’s pension benefits; the right to immigration of foreign partners; the recognition of children born to same-sex couples by way of donor insemination; the right to non-discrimination in employment; the decriminalization of sodomy between consenting adult men; full custody of children in instances of divorce; becoming joint, legal parents of adopted children and most recently the right to enter into a civil partnership. The right to marry offers the promise of more substantive equality and inclusive citizenship.