I was most interested to hear that a group of Muslims had challenged the marriage laws of SA on the grounds that their Muslim marriages (or more to the point, divorces) were not legally recognized. More power to them, but how can this be? Easily. It seems that (gender issues aside) only civil unions and Christian marriages are legally recognized, making all other forms of marriage illegitimate.
What a surprise.
A short time ago I engaged a rabid fundamentalist group on the subject of same gender marriage - and this group seemed pretty adamant that the word "marriage" belonged to Christianity. This of course was shot down by the simple presentation of facts. Contrary to their beliefs, there are other religions in the world too, besides theirs - and the believers of those also marry. Aside from this I took great pleasure in pointing out that whenever gay people want to marry, whether in a religious ceremony (or in a court of law) they get taken to task by people who jump up and down claiming that marriage is an institution ordained by the Christian god and that gay people may not even speak the word "marriage", let alone use it to describe their "unholy" unions - but if Fatima and Achmed want to marry at the local mosque or a pair of Hindu's get hitched, they don't take any notice. Then of course, it is ok for other people to use the word "marriage" - which bears no copyright, by the way. This exposes their bias and prejudice for all to see, causing them to change the subject or resort to ranting, raving or quoting reams of irrelevant rhetoric - which is essentially the same thing.
Few forms of Christianity are tolerant of gender and sexual diversity, and even among those "denominations" which condemn us - there are individual church groups which accept gay people openly. It must be pointed out that there is a difference between tolerance and acceptance.
Of all religions, Wicca is probably the most accepting religion for gay people, stating that "if it harm none, do what thou wilt". This unprecedented freedom (rivalled only by atheism and agnosticism) is probably the reason why a Bill was submitted to SA Parliament a number of years ago (by Christian elements naturally) intending to outlaw all forms of "witchcraft". Fortunately this bill did not pass, but if it did, it would not only have limited muti-related crime (which was its claimed intent), but would've made even people gathering as wiccans guilty of a crime. Clearly the intent behind such a bill is more sinister and infringes the constitutional rights to freedom of association, to gather peaceably, and not the least of which, to freedom of religion.
In fact I wouldnt be a bit surprised if it was being pushed by the same people who perpetually oppose the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity into existing constitutional clauses to prevent hate crime and hate speech against gay and trans people - on religious grounds, naturally. It seems they think God wants them to be allowed to freely incite hate, violence and general misery against innocent people. People regularly vent hate against a minority group in the press, media and in letters to the press - attacking them solely on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity - and because this is not covered in the constitution, it just slips on through. Let's see them do the same thing, only substituting "black" or "Muslim" for "gay". Brave, noble folk who accuse us of wanting "special rights" just because we strive to be treated equally. Just last year a lesbian couple was murdered in Soweto after being "correctively raped" in order to punish them for daring to be gay - and a transgender woman was murdered simply because she requested her murderer to not refer to her as the Zulu equivalent of "queer".
In the meantime, bigots have been using this loophole in the constitution to get away with hate crimes - and they will continue to do so until somebody closes it. The bible has been used as a weapon for so long on the principle of "Control the Bible and you control Christianity" that I doubt we will ever get the blood stains and the rank smell of death out of it.
Meanwhile, I have yet to meet any human that could pose a threat to a God powerful enough to speak the universe into being, or a civilization that collapsed because gay people fell in love and got married.