Africa has a long way to go to legalise same-sex marriage
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CAPE TOWN - Same-sex marriage is now legal in 30 countries around the world, but the rights of LGBTQIA+ persons in Africa to legally marry their partners remain obstructed, with South Africa the sole African country that recognises same-sex unions.
South Africa legalised same-sex marriage in 2006, a watershed moment for Africa, where homosexuality remains taboo.
According to American morning television programme “Good Morning America”, same-sex marriage is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Argentina, Portugal, Iceland, Denmark, Uruguay, Brazil, New Zealand, England, Wales, France, Luxembourg, Scotland, the US, Ireland, Finland, Greenland, Colombia, Malta, Australia, Germany, Austria, Taiwan, Ecuador, Northern Ireland and Costa Rica.
The Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage in the year 2000. The following year, four couples married in the world’s first same-sex wedding.
According to the Pew Research Centre, the South African Parliament legalised same-sex marriage in November 2006, one year after the country’s apex court ruled that the previous marriage laws violated the Constitution’s guarantee of equal rights.
Nearly half of the countries worldwide where homosexuality is outlawed are in Africa, according to a 2020 global review by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA).
According to Global Citizen.org, out of the 54 African states, only 22 have legalised homosexuality.
In some countries it is punishable by imprisonment, while it is punishable by death in four – Mauritania, Nigeria (in states where sharia is applied), Somalia and South Sudan.
African News Agency (ANA)