I was going to post these as separate posts today, but decided since it was getting late I'd go ahead and put them together. We have something to celebrate and something to mourn.
First, in South Africa the parliament passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. This is amazing considering a lot of African nations still criminalize homosexuality. It all goes back to the South African constitution though. After apartheid, when they wrote their constitution it was the first to include sexual orientation. Gay activists won a court case last year to be included in marriage; the courts gave the legislature a year to implement the change. Isn't it sad that we rank below South Africa in the "human rights" category? *sigh*
Other news though reminds me that maybe we don't have it that bad. Things could be a hell of a lot worse. Earlier today a gay man was hanged in front of a crowd of hundreds in Kermanshah, Iran for the crime of sodomy. That's right - a crime punishable by death. Remember, it wasn't that long ago that sodomy was a crime in the United States in some areas too...
Maybe soon we'll move up to the legal protections offered by South Africa. And then Iran and other African nations can step up to the laissez-faire patchwork of protection and tolerance we've achieved. What do you think the timeline is for LGBT civil rights protections? When will we finally achieve equality in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations? I think we'll see it by 2010.