An Embarrassment of Riches or a Profusion of Confusion? An Evaluation of the Continued Existence of the Civil Union Act of 2006 in the Light of Prospective Domestic Partnerships Legislation in South Africa

As it stands, South African family law currently holds that the Marriage Act 25 of 1961 applies exclusively to the solemnisation of heterosexual civil marriages while same-sex couples have no choice but to formalise their relationships in terms of the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006. In addition, the leg...

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Published in: Potchefstroom electronic law journal Vol. 13; no. 2; pp. 29 - 75
Main Authors: Robinson, R, Smith, B
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Afrikaans
Published: South Africa North-West University 2010
Subjects:
Law
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Summary: As it stands, South African family law currently holds that the Marriage Act 25 of 1961 applies exclusively to the solemnisation of heterosexual civil marriages while same-sex couples have no choice but to formalise their relationships in terms of the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006. In addition, the legal position is complicated by the fact that the latter Act not only allows both heterosexual and homosexual couples to conclude a civil union, but also provides that a civil union may take the form of either a marriage or a civil partnership, both of which enjoy the same legal recognition as, and give rise to the same legal consequences, as a civil marriage under the Marriage Act.In January 2008, a draft Domestic Partnerships Bill saw the light of day, the potential enactment of which casts significant doubt as to whether the prevailing framework should be retained. With this potential development in mind, this paper considers the desirability of maintaining the "separate but equal" status quo.
ISSN: 1727-3781
1727-3781
DOI: 10.17159/1727-3781/2010/v13i2a2640