Mixed reaction to new Marriage Amendment Bill

JOHANNESBURG - The new marriage amendment bill has been receiving mixed reception.

The bill seeks to rationalise pieces of legislation dealing with marriage and ensure that all persons, regardless of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or religious or cultural beliefs, are treated equally and with dignity.

But Associate Professor at the Department of Private Law at the University of Western Cape, Anthony Diala, says there are worrying gaps in the bill.

"There are quite a lot of gaps that are worrying. Before I mention these gaps, we should note that the bill emanates primarily from the white paper on marriages of 2022," he said.

"Our recommendations in that white paper as made by the advisory committee that advised the South African law reform commission and one of those recommendations is to have a separate bill for intimate permanent life partnerships and yet another one for people who are in married relationships that are of a long term nature."

"So Parliament was advised to either draft a separate law to govern these relationships or to include them in this draft marriage bill so apparently Parliament chose to discard those recommendations because they are not mentioned in the draft marriage bill."


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