LGBT rights in South Africa. What has changed with time?


Homosexual activity for both genders was decriminalized in South Africa in 1994. Two years later the country provided protective measures for LGBT people, which made it possible for them to resist discrimination.
Ten years after that the country introduced marriage equality. From the point of view of laws everything seems quite alright, but the society remains extremely homophobic. There is a number of hate crimes, especially against lesbians who are often subjected to ‘corrective rape’ – raped by men who believe that after trying to have sex with men they won’t be lesbians anymore. The country’s President said that he did not support LGBT rights as a person though had to do it as a politician. The likes of the Hate Crimes Working Group are vying to establish hate crime legislation in order to establish protections and justice for LGBT people. “Twenty-four years into democracy, we still don’t have a government that responds to this need,” said lead researcher Joan Nel to, “Why is it that in 2018… it is up to civil society with its limited resources to do this sort of research?” asked said compiler of the report, Yolanda Mitchell, to the South African publication. We need a hate crime law to understand the problem in a country like ours, where we are sitting with massive inequality and massive divisions.”


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