LGBTQI+ couples can rejoice to the fact that South Africa has been named the “safest place in the world” for same-sex couples.
That’s right, after a survey conducted by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) were able make a list of the best, and the worst, countries for same-sex and LGBTQI+ couples, South Africa has been labelled one of the safest countries in the world for the queer
Coinciding with the release of the survey, ILGA uploaded maps to their Twitter account showing how laws affect people worldwide on the grounds of their sexual orientation.
South Africa is one of nine other countries that were recognised as being safe-havens for same-sex and transgender couples.
Thanks to the South African constitution formed in 1996 that protects its citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientation, and the legalisation of same-sex marriages with endorsed legal protections in 2006, SA ranks as the most gay-friendly place in Africa.
According to the survey, Angola is the only other African state anywhere near our standards.
South Africa is one of just a handful of countries that recognises homosexuality as a lawful practice in our constitution. As explained in the Bill of Rights, discriminatory behaviour against the LGBTQI+ is punishable by law.
ILGA has found that South Africa’s progressive attitude towards the LGBTQI+ community is matched only by Malta, Sweden and Portugal. There are five other countries that share our constitutional protections, but fail to recognise either marriage or adoption rights: Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, Fiji and
“As of March 2019, 70 States continue to criminalise same-sex consensual activity. In 44 of these States the law is applied to people regardless of their gender,” commented Lucas Ramón Mendos of ILGA on the release of the State-Sponsored Homophobia report 2019.
Landmark advances have taken place in the last two years: India, Trinidad and Tobago, and Angola were the latest to repeal such laws. Hopefully this will help further change in their regions. However, global progress comes with setbacks: in 2017, Chad criminalised consensual same-sex sexual acts, a
worrying example of legal regression”.