(Editor's note: Melanie Nathan is Editor of the O-blog-dee-o-blog-da blog, where this story was first published. She is a frequent contributor to San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.)
South Africa is a leader in the world of equality, enjoying an all inclusive constitution, where same-sex marriage is legal and discrimination against LGBTI people outlawed. However that has not stopped homophobia and fear to embrace LGBTI South Africans as fully equal.
This video and the report of the marriage that followed, shows an extraordinary example of new-found acceptance, as a small community embraces a young gay Zulu couple, about to embark upon, not only a legal marriage, but also a traditional marriage.
As reported from South Africa:
Two young men tied the knot in a rare South African gay wedding in KwaDukuza (Stanger) on Saturday.In what was described as the town’s first gay marriage, Tshepo Modisane and Thoba Sithole, both 27, walked down the aisle in front of 200 guests at the Stanger Siva Sungam community hall.
The wedding was a jubilant, exciting affair, attracting even uninvited members of the local community.
Thoba, a Joburg-based IT specialist, is from Shakaville, KwaDukuza and Tshepo an audit manager at PwC. They have known each other for years and dated on and off, before stabilising their relationship.
Now that they are wedded, they will take on the double-barrelled surname of Sithole-Modisane.
The couple appeared to enjoy the support from the community, family and friends.
The couple are reportedly planning to have children through a surrogate.
“Family is important to us and that is the number one reason why we want to have children,” said Thoba.
“We also want our children to grow up in an environment where they are loved greatly by both parents who appreciate them.” (SA Report)
This wedding will go down in history as one of the most significant events in South African LGBTI history, as it breaks unknown barriers in the face of last year’s assault by the Zulu traditional chiefs, who sought to remove sexual orientation as a protected class from the South African Constitution. The South African gay community held numerous protests against the move and it was thwarted.
There is hope that Africa can become more open by embracing all its people and allow tradition to embrace all forms of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation has always included heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality. Now traditionalists have an opportunity to recognize it too.
As one groom noted, “Being gay is as African as being black.”
This community shows that when it comes to the bottom line, it is all about love and acceptance and even tradition has its seat at the table of evolution.
Watch video of the wedding:
Watch video in preparation for wedding:-
Cathy Kristofferson contributed to this article.