Officials may no longer refuse to marry same sex couples

08:21 (GMT+2) Fri, 07 Dec 2018

The National Assembly on Thursday passed a bill which will make it impermissible for marriage officers working for the State to refuse to marry same-sex couples, but objections were raised to the fact that home affairs has been granted a 24-month transitional period for training.

The Civil Union Amendment Bill, which seeks to repeal section 6 of the act allowing marriage officers to opt out of marrying same-sex couples on the basis of "conscience, religion and belief", was passed with the support of most parties.

The bill was introduced by Congress of the People MP Deidre Carter, who on Thursday asserted that: "It cannot be in our Constitutional democracy that civil servants can be afforded the right in law about whom they would like to serve."

ANC MP Hlomani Chauke said of the 409 home affairs offices in South Africa most did not serve same-sex couples.

The amendment bill was only opposed by the ACDP, the National Freedom Party and the African Independent Congress.

The Bill will now be sent to the President for assent.

- African News Agency (ANA)