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UPDATED: PROTESTS TO PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION

Tue, 15 May 2012

Protests against efforts to remove sexual orientation protection from the Constitution are being held around the country this weekend.

Events will take place in Johannesburg and Cape Town on May 19 and Durban and Port Elizabeth on May 20.

The protests are in reaction to the recent proposal by The House of Traditional Leaders to remove the term "sexual orientation" from section 9 (3) of the Constitution, which prohibits unfair discrimination.

While the ANC and the DA have said that they do not back the proposal there is serious concern that it went as far as being taken forward by the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) of the National Assembly.

“The point of the protest is not in fear of the proposal succeeding. The protest is rather out of anger that the CRC has even accepted such a proposal,” one of the organisers, Eugene Brockman from Gay Flag of SA, told Mambaonline.

“Reviewing gay rights is on par with revisiting the concept of apartheid, deliberating whether women should have the right to vote and whether children's rights are essential,” he said.

“The message the CRC has sent the South African LGBTI community is that we are not deserving of our rights, that we are second rate citizens who are at the mercy of their good graces.”

Brockman added that protest organisers are canvassing broadly for support and already have buy-in from several key LGBTI civil society groups.

According to the organisers, official permissions are all in place for the Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth events, with imminent approval expected for Durban.

The Johannesburg protest will begin at 10 a.m. at the Wits University parking lot, close to Jorissen street, and then to proceed to the Constitutional Court where a memorandum is to be handed to a representative of the court. Organisations such as OUT from Pretoria will take part.

Cape Town protesters will meet at the SABC offices in Sea Point from 11.30 a.m. and will then have shuttle taxis take them to Parliament. Cape Town Leathermen, S.W.E.A.T., Gender Dynamics, Gay Flag SA, GlosCPUT, RainbowUCT and Triangle Project have said that they will attend.

On Sunday 20 May, the KwaZulu-Natal LGBT community is planning to protest from 9 a.m. at the City Hall in Durban. This protest will take place at the venue and will not include a march.

In Port Elizabeth, protestors - including representatives of ECGLA, Tru Colors and SA GLAAD - will meet outside the City Hall at 1 p.m. on Sunday 20 May and plan to hand a petition to the mayor or his representative.

“The proposal to the CRC has exposed the true bias and homophobia prevalent both within their own and the traditional leader's inner camps and that they are willing to use their powers to serve their prejudices,” said Brockman.

On a lighter note, he encouraged protesters to make use of "exhibitionist activism" by using flamboyant dress and costume as a means of protest. “We predict a lot of tribal and Zulu outfits,” he commented.

MAY 19/20 PROTEST DETAILS

Johannesburg
Date: Sat 19 May
Time: 9/10 a.m. till 12 p.m.
Location: Wits parking (near Jorissen street) to Constitution Hill (Kotze Street).
Other: Drinks afterwards at Ratz bar & Melon restaurant in Melville.
Contact: Genevieve Lé Coq - genevievelecoq1@gmail.com
Facebook event page

Cape Town
Date: Sat 19 May
Time: 12 p.m. till 2 p.m.
Location: SABC offices Sea Point. Shuttle taxis to Parliament.
Other: Followed by drinks at Cafe Manhattan.
Contact: Eugene Brockman - huge@p2-ink.com
Facebook event page

Durban
Date: Sun 20 May
Time: 9 a.m. till 1 p.m.
Location: Durban City Hall (protest will take place here - no march)
Contact: Ezra Steenkamp - durban@iamgay.co.za
Facebook event page

Port Elizabeth
Date: Sun 20 May
Time: 1 p.m. till 2.30 p.m.
Location: City Hall in Market Square
Contact: David Hessey - hesseydavid@gmail.com
Facebook event page

Sign the petition opposing any changes to the South African Constitution here.

(This article was first written on 11 May 2012)

by Staff Writer

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Comment:

Mark Greenberg 5/17/2012 2:13:36 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
If we are going to cahnge our BBM and Facbook profile pics to Rainbow flag for the day, do you have one you could share that we can use?
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Comment:
drag fag 5/16/2012 10:38:01 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
I am wearing a sexy zulu number and brinin my drag fags- we refuse to dress to please the straights!
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Comment:
JC 5/16/2012 10:38:01 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
sounds sexy- go ofr it and don't forget to oil that body.
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Comment:
Retha 5/16/2012 9:11:48 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
My wife and I will be at the Cape Town one. <3 Let's all please behave respectfully, decently and as top humans of society.
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Comment:
Wayne 5/16/2012 2:16:49 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
1 more
Love not hate -dont discriminate !!!
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Comment:
Wayne van Niekerk 5/16/2012 2:15:25 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
How about some suggestion for banners ?

My 10

1) Gay is African
2) Rather oppose Polygamy - it is harmful to society/women
3) Constitution protects ALL South Africans
4) God bless the Constitution
5) Traditional leaders views = apartheid views
6) Unite not seperate
7) ANC = A Noble Constitution
8) Thanks for the protection
9) Protect minorities - PROUDLY SA
10) We ARE the people



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Comment:
R 5/14/2012 6:19:48 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
guys dress as u like. I truely believe vareity is what we need. Be it drag suits. Those (dreadful) skinny jeans lol! baggy jeans whatever. The entire point of protesting is to show these assholes we're people too. Doing what makes YOU comfortable. Ignorant straight people make us seem like a phenomenon... we just like guys for gooness sake
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Comment:
JC 5/14/2012 6:19:48 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
I tell you what, dress in those sexy tight swim shorts that reveals all, then I might join the protests and enjoy the view!!
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Comment:
Tiaan 5/14/2012 3:49:55 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
I would suggest to dress in normal day to day attire. Ppl will be looking for reasons to shoot us down, don't give it to them.
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Comment:
Blurgh 5/14/2012 3:49:55 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
people like you are no better than the homophobes, you can spend your life trying not to scare the straights but I am going to dress however I want...
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Comment:
Adulai 5/14/2012 3:48:22 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
Please attend the protest marches this Saturday - Dbn and Jhb scheduled for Sat 19 May. Jhb - from Wits parking lost. Dbn - SABC offices - see FB.
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Comment:
steenC 5/12/2012 6:56:33 AM Down Up Reply REPLY
@ R, Thanks for support
@WTF, I see nothing wrong with flamboyant dress and I am not saying we should not "be flamboyant in the protest". I just wanted to state, that we are more than that and I hate that while we are fighting the negative perceptions and stereoytypes of the ignorant "straights" we should not reinforce it. Being gay does not translate to drag queen (which many ignorant straights believe). Some of us like to wear drag, some of like to be over the top, but most of us is just men loving men. If we march, we march as "men loving men" be it in drag, speedos, business suits, whatever.
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R 5/11/2012 8:19:58 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
Which is steenC's point WTF, it's not just a gay thing it never was. Some boys love to be over the top (gay or straight). To be honest I've found straight people to be more flamboyant than gays (metrosexuals).
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JC 5/11/2012 8:19:58 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
Ya you must see in Boksburg the strait drag queens parading in North Rand road on a Saturday near the east Rand mall they are supposedly getting married! My idea is they want to explore their bi gay side.
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Comment:
WTF 5/11/2012 7:11:03 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
@ steenC

Have you seen Jacob Zuma in traditional get-up? He looks no less ridiculous than your average drag queen.
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R 5/11/2012 12:21:51 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
I agree with you steenC. Looks like tribal leaders aren't the only one who are ignorant when it comes to the LGBTI. Still visual expression is a good idea. Those who don't express themselves in a flamboyant manner should express themselves in way that speaks true to the gay you are. Anything "less" will defeat the whole point of protesting
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steenC 5/11/2012 10:31:20 AM Down Up Reply REPLY
Why does gays always have to be associated with "flamboyant dress" ? Are we not people like everyone else?
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Larissa 5/11/2012 10:31:20 AM Down Up Reply REPLY
I agree with you in most cases. I don't understand why we as gay people feel the need to dress so extremely at events like Pride. It takes attention away from the real reason why we're marching.
However, I also think that we should be who we are, be it in drag or in your bikini or in your leather pants. As long as you're there for the right reasons.
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