Gay marriage debate healthy

The public debate on the Civil Union Bill should be welcomed. The deliberation on this bill by ordinary South Africans, religious organisations, and the gay and lesbian communities is an indication of the maturity of our democracy.

The public debate on the Civil Union Bill should be welcomed. The deliberation on this bill by ordinary South Africans, religious organisations, and the gay and lesbian communities is an indication of the maturity of our democracy.

Twelve years ago South Africans had no say in law making.

Draconian apartheid laws such as the Immorality Act did not consider the views of ordinary South Africans.

It is encouraging to see South Africans take part in the drafting of legislation, that would change the marriage regime.

It is also important to note that the decision to review the Marriage Act of 1961 emanated from a recent constitutional court judgment.

The government responded positively to the judgment by inviting inputs to the law [from the general public].

This consultative process is not an exercise to give preference to either heterosexuals or homosexuals.

But it is a right, contained in the Bill of Rights, that is the cornerstone of democracy in South Africa.

The nation has spoken on the matter and now it is time for the law makers to consolidate the inputs and guide us on the best possible way to handle this highly contested issue.

Jacky Mashapu, Pretoria

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