Identity, law, justice: thinking about sexual rights and citizenship in post-apartheid South Africa

SOURCE: Perspectives: Political Analyses and Commentary from Africa
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2010
TITLE AUTHOR(S): V.Reddy
KEYWORDS: HUMAN RIGHTS, IDENTITY, JUSTICE, POST APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA, SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 6532

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

South Africa's hard won gains are notable and has received global acclamation. However, on closer inspection, a more nuanced picture is evident. The translation of law into tangible and accessible justice for homosexuals indicates that dignity, equality, and respect are a struggle still being waged. At the receiving end of homophobia and bigotry are black women in particular, confirming that more needs to be done to ensure that our progressive laws filter beyond the urbanised middle class. It is not surprising that the social attitudes of South Africans toward homosexuality, is far from acceptance, as shown in some preliminary findings in a recent survey. Some of these issues inform this brief perspective, outlining a few conceptual thoughts in relation to the concrete landscape of what issues about identity, the law and justice for homosexuals say about the meaning of sexual rights and citizenship in South Africa. Undoubtedly this is a complex argument but a few preliminary thoughts are sketched here.