Civil Union Bill extends rights further than gays and lesbians

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Constitutional law expert Karthy Govender applauded the latest version of the Civil Union Bill as one of the most far-reaching pieces of legislation on gay and lesbian rights in the world.

The legislation was passed in the national assembly this week .

Govender said: "During democracy about 800 racially-based laws have been changed.

"But it took pressure from the gay and lesbian community [who took cases to court] to make real the constitutional right to freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation."

Nonhlanhla Mkhize, director of the Durban Gay and Lesbian Centre, said: "Not many people understand that the bill also covers domestic partnerships."