Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gay marriage in South Africa

In today's International Herald Tribune is an article about a new South African bill allowing gay marriage. The catch is that it includes an "opt-out clause" for "religious and civil officers to refuse to marry same-sex couples on moral grounds." Considering that the starting point for this bill was a South African Constitutional Court decision that "existing marriage legislation was unconstitutional because it discriminated against same-sex couples," it is surprising that this law still allows for such discrimination.

In the same newspaper is an article about how traditional customs in Africa can contribute to the spread of AIDS. For example, an HIV-positive mother who is advised not to breast-feed her baby did so anyway, because she had to breast-feed the baby for two weeks as part of a traditional ritual. Of course, there are those who say that the traditional rituals should not be subject to any challenges from science.

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