South African gay couple plan legal action after wedding refusal
A gay couple in South Africa were allegedly told they could not get married because their relationship was “not normal,” it has been reported.
Alexander Bruce, 25, and Jaco van der Walt, 19, had decided to marry after being together for a year and had gone to the Home Affairs office for an initial appointment on December 17th.
However, they claim that when they arrived at the Germiston Home Affairs office on January 2nd they were laughed at by an official who then refused to marry them.
After speaking to a more senior member of staff, the official returned to the couple and said that the Germiston Home Affairs office could not accommodate same-sex marriages.
“I spoke to the supervisor myself and he told me that I should go to the Alberton Home Affairs office,” Bruce told The Citizen newspaper. “The supervisor did not treat us with respect at all; he was quite rude to us.”
Bruce later phoned the Alberton Home Affairs office, and was told that Germiston Home Affairs office is in fact permitted to perform same-sex marriages.
“I was so excited about getting married and was really disappointed when we couldn’t go through with it,” Van der Walt told the newspaper.
Home Affairs claimed the marriage did not take place because there was no record of the couple’s appointment on December 17th.
The two men now plan to marry at the Alberton Home Affairs office and hope to take legal action.
South Africa is the only country in Africa that has legalised same-sex marriage.