Exploring SA law and sexual minority freedom

Sexual minority freedom is a highly sensitive and controversial subject but the two day course hosted by UCT [email protected] aims to dispel some of the myths linked to this topic.

“The most common misconception is that decriminalising homosexuality somehow means that social prejudice and persecution of sexual minorities fall away” says Jaco Barnard Naude, a specialist in SA transformation law.

“Another misconception is that equality means that sexual minorities should ‘perform’ their relationships in conformity with a heterosexual norm, for instance, they should form a nuclear family in order to access the equal benefit and protection of the law.”

While the South African Constitution does go some way toward protecting the rights of minorities, transformation is a continuous process.

According to Naude South Africa is the only country in the world whose Constitution prohibits unfair discrimination on the grounds of 'sexual orientation’.

In comparison to its neighbours South Africa has made huge strides in terms of providing legal protections and benefits to same-sex partners.

In addition SA is the only country in Africa, and one of a handful of countries in the world, that protects same-sex marriage in the form of the Civil Union Act.

In Africa there are still laws that oppress non-heterosexual forms of sexual expression and cite homosexuality as a criminal offence. These laws threaten the freedoms, rights and safety of these minorities.

Naude will present the Law & Sexual Minority Freedom in Africa course which will tackle some of these issues by looking at the political and legal context of the national legislation.

Naude explains that there is a definitive link between the political and legal environment of a country and the legislation that it produces.

“A political situation can either impede or be conducive to the enforcement and realisation of rights and benefits”.

Course participants will also investigate the role of history, religion and the South African Civil Union Act and its effect on Sexual Minority Freedom in Africa.

The course will benefit attorneys, activists, government employees, legal advisors and others connected to the LGBTI community in Africa.

Course date: 20-21 October 2016

To find out more or to book your seat visit UCT law

By Cindy Payle - Portal Publishing