Quote of the week

It is clear that no legitimate objective is advanced by excluding domestic workers from COIDA.  If anything, their exclusion has a significant stigmatising effect which entrenches patterns of disadvantage based on race, sex and gender…. In considering those who are most vulnerable or most in need, a court should take cognisance of those who fall at the intersection of compounded vulnerabilities due to intersecting oppression based on race, sex, gender, class and other grounds.  To allow this form of state-sanctioned inequity goes against the values of our newly constituted society namely human dignity, the achievement of equality and ubuntu.  To exclude this category of individuals from the social security scheme established by COIDA is manifestly unreasonable.

Victor AJ
Mahlangu and Another v Minister of Labour and Others (CCT306/19) [2020] ZACC 24 (19 November 2020)
20 December 2006

Same-sex relationships around the world

I recieved an email from prof Kees Waaldijk who sums up the situation regarding the legal recognition of same-sex partnerships at national level as follows:

  • Marriage has been opened up to same-sex couples in Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Spain (since December 2006), South Africa, and in one state of the United States of America.
  • A form of registered partnership for same-sex couples (and sometimes also for different-sex couples) carrying some, most or all legal consequences of marriage, has been introduced in Andorra, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland (from January 2007), United Kingdom, Uruguay?, and in parts of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Spain, and the United States of America.
  • Informal cohabitation of same-sex partners has become legally recognised (at least for some legal purposes) in most of the jurisdictions mentioned above, and also in several other, including Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Hungary, Israel, Portugal, and parts of Australia, Italy and the United States of America.
  • For various practical purposes a foreign same-sex marriage would be recognised in Israel, and (probably) also in many of the countries that have introduced some form of registered partnership, but that have not opened up marriage. However (unlike Israel, after the judgement of its Supreme Court on 21 November 2006) most of these countries would not formally register a foreign same-sex marriage as ‘marriage’.
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