Minister of Home Affairs and Another v Fourie and Another
|Minister of Home Affairs and Another v Fourie and Another (2005)
Constitutional Court of South Africa which established that the government was constitutionally obliged to allow same-sex couples to marry. The judgment is primarily based on section 9 of the Constitution, which explicitly forbids discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Minister of Home Affairs and Another v Fourie and Another is a landmark decision of the |
Argument was heard on 17 May 2005, and the judgment was handed down on 1 December. The court ruled unanimously that the common-law definition of marriage and the Marriage Act were unconstitutionally discriminatory. The majority judgment suspended the order for one year to allow Parliament to legalise same-sex marriage, failing which the Marriage Act would be deemed to be amended to allow it. One judge dissented, believing that the act should be amended immediately. Ultimately Parliament enacted the Civil Union Act, 2006 (which, despite the title, allows for full same-sex marriage) one day before the court's deadline.
This is the last in a series of four judgments in this case:
Constitutional Court of South Africa
Case CCT 60/04
|Minister of Home Affairs||First Applicant|
|Director-General of Home Affairs||Second Applicant|
|Marié Adriaana Fourie||First Respondent|
|Cecelia Johanna Bonthuys||Second Respondent|
|Doctors for Life International||First amicus curiae|
|John Jackson Smyth||Second amicus curiae|
|The Marriage Alliance of South Africa||Third amicus curiae|
Case CCT 10/05
|Lesbian and Gay Equality Project and Eighteen Others||Applicants|
|Minister of Home Affairs||First Respondent|
|Director-General of Home Affairs||Second Respondent|
|Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development||Third Respondent|
|Heard on||:||17 May 2005|
|Decided on||:||1 December 2005|
Minister of Home Affairs and Another v Marié Adriaana Fourie and Another:
For the applicants: MTK Moerane SC and S Nthai instructed by the State Attorney, Johannesburg.
For the respondents: P Oosthuizen and T Kathri instructed by M van den Berg Attorneys.
For the first amicus curiae: John Jackson Smyth QC. (Written argument only.)
For the second amicus curiae: John Jackson Smyth QC.
For the third amicus curiae: GC Pretorius SC, DM Achtzehn, PG Seleka and JR Bauer instructed by Motla Conradie Attorneys
Lesbian and Gay Equality Project and Eighteen Others v Minister of Home Affairs and Others:
For the applicants: DI Berger SC and F Kathree instructed by Nicholls, Cambanis and Associates.
For the respondents: M Donen SC instructed by the State Attorney, Johannesburg.
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