I can’t help but find a little bit of irony in the news that South Africa — a country that, in my lifetime, had bigotry and discrimination literally as the foundation of its laws — is taking a step on road to allowing same-sex marriage.
South Africa’s Cabinet has given the green light for a bill allowing gay marriage, which would make it the first country in Africa to accord homosexual couples the same rights as their straight counterparts.
Government spokesman Themba Maseko said the Cabinet had approved the bill — which must still be adopted by Parliament — after the country’s highest court ruled it was unconstitutional to deny gay people the right to marry.
“Basically (the bill) will legalize same-sex marriage in compliance with the constitutional court ruling,” said Maseko, who could not say when Parliament would discuss the bill.
It remains to be seen whether the bill will pass in Parliament, but if nothing else South Africa joins Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, and Great Britain in taking a giant step ahead of the U.S. when it comes to equal protection under the law for all of its citizens. Whether the U.S. is ready to take a tiny step forward, as opposed to the usual giant steps backwards, remains to be seen. But we can hope, I guess.