SA first to tackle sexual orientation discrimination, judge

Johannesburg - South Africa was the first country to include no discrimination based on sexual orientation in its Constitution, Judge Edwin Cameron said on Friday.

"We became the very first country in April 1994... that included two crucial words in our Constitution and the words were sexual orientation and our equality clause contains the prohibition against unfair discrimination regarding sexual orientation," he told a discussion at the University of Johannesburg.

"No other country in the world has done that."

There were many forms of discrimination not just race and gender.

Cameron said it was a difficult but vital issue which needed to be discussed.

"It's an issue that's not only important to the vulnerable among us, it's not only important for that self-identifying same-sex-orientated woman in a township who's at risk from some of her neighbours," he said.

"It's important to all of us because this question of sexual orientation goes throughout humanity."

South Africa was carrying a light on the continent where there were terrible things happening.

Cameron referred to Uganda and Nigeria's stance on sexual orientation.

He said how the issue was confronted institutionally, nationally, and constitutionally determined how people related to their own humanity.

Cameron, who is a Constitutional Court judge, is an openly HIV positive gay man and activist.

Read more on: johannesburg human rights
Stephan Francois Bouwer 2014-08-29 05:50:29 PM
Interesting fact, South Africa's Constitution is seen by most as the best in the world, and this is not a statement made by the ANC or Zuma...
Method 2014-08-29 05:52:59 PM
That's one of the things that makes this a great country :)
Weetabix 2014-08-29 06:04:55 PM
Who the f cares? You can write what you want in your silly book but you cant enforce it! That is why SA is such a mess, you have a rule book but you clowns are incapable of following it.
Catherine Bester 2014-08-29 06:38:13 PM
Crap. We were fifth. FIFTH! Countries like Canada did this beford us. People should know beter than to open their mouthes if they pull their facts from the . . . Ok, let's say sky
Enig Ma 2014-08-29 06:49:36 PM
This must cause muslims and christians a lot of headaches.
Motofogo Mulilo 2014-08-29 06:50:42 PM
SA getting caught up in a race to the bottom. (Pun unintended)
Mr T. 2014-08-29 07:24:13 PM
Thanks to the ANC government. We are indeed a good place to be. This would have never been achieved during the apartheid laws. Long live the spirit of the ANC.
MeThinks 2014-08-29 07:31:34 PM
The end is near and we all including our leaders shall account. God have mercy....
Hengu Willemse 2014-08-29 08:58:50 PM
Shame and shame again.