This page contains news for the period September 29, 2001 through September
September 2001 >>
September 29, 2001
South African Court rules in
favor of same-sex adoption and domestic partner benefits
A story released today by the Associated Press reports that a South African
court ruled in favor of making it easier for gay couples to adopt children together, and
declared that a lesbian judge could share the same worker benefits with her domestic
partner as married judges do.
In his decision, Judge Frans Kgomo of the Pretoria High Court on Friday said he had no
evidence to show that same-sex life partners are less capable of raising children.
In a second ruling, Kgomo said that sections of a compensation act for judges should
also be declared unconstitutional because they prevent same-sex partners from sharing
benefits enjoyed by their married counterparts.
Altering the act would entitle the partners of gay judges to such benefits as sharing
in medical insurance packages and compensation in the case of death.
Kgomo ordered that the legislation and regulations pertaining to both cases be amended
to include same-sex life partners. Both rulings await approval by the Constitutional Court
-- South Africa's highest legal body.
In 1998, the Constitutional Court struck down laws that criminalized sex between men.
Sex between women was never officially banned, but was symbolically stigmatized by the old
The ruling represented another step in unraveling old apartheid laws that forbade
sexual relationships between members of the same sex.