01 December 2005

victory now, revoked in the future?

So, South Africa's Constitutional Court (their highest court) has ruled that same-sex marriages have the same status as heterosexual ones, with a year stay for Parliament to amend marriage laws. The article from the NY Times points out that
homosexuality [in South Africa] is not the sort of burning social issue that it is on the American political right. South African gay men and lesbians have recently won a series of court rulings extending to them the rights and protections afforded other citizens. The government-sponsored tourism board this week announced an advertising blitz in Britain aimed at attracting gay couples to Cape Town "for the honeymoon of their dreams in 2006."

"It's not one of our political fault lines," said Steven E. Friedman, a top political analyst at Johannesburg's Center for Political Studies, a nonprofit research center. "The major issue in this society is race. That's why people join political parties. The party of social conservatism is the African Christian Democratic Party, which wins 1 percent of the vote.

So if race is the burning issue, then once that is under control (like it "is" here), will attention shift to gay marriage (like it has here) because, well there's nothing really big to get pissed off about and issues with strong religious overtones are "all" that's left? Or, does race have strong religious overtones as well? Or, is race something that right and wrong are more clearly defined? Or, is race something where the irrationality of bias and discrimination are so blatantly clear that even the most troglodytic ignoramus can see that it is wrong, yet homosexual equal rights in the form of interpersonal legal agreements and protections are not?

Fuck that.