Johannesburg’s The Star newspaper today reported that a new organisation is planning to hold mass gay weddings next year.
According to the report, the South African Mass Gay and Lesbian Wedding Ceremony, led by chairperson Johann Ludick, aims to schedule a number of mass same-sex weddings around the country in December 2006, by when same-sex marriage is expected to be legalised.
Lucick is quoted as saying that, “The three planned ceremonies will take place at outdoor venues, such as stadiums, to enable us to accommodate a minimum of 5 000 gay and lesbian couples. The weddings will take place over a period of 72 hours at three selected venues to be announced in February, from a shortlist of nine.”
The reporter who wrote the piece, based solely on a media release that she received, has not been able to reach the organisation or Mr Ludick on the cell phone number provided or to verify his statement. Attempts to contact the organisation by Mambaonline have also proven fruitless.
The organisation’s plans have already been ridiculed by some who question the viability of attempting to marry thousands of same-sex couples in stadia. Says Paul Tilly, co-ordinator of 2005’s Joburg Pride event, “I cannot imagine that most same-sex couples would want to engage in a mass event of this nature – married in a stadium with 4998 other people – any more than most heterosexual couples would. It sounds to me like a money-making scheme”.
The Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled last week that the government has no more than 12 months in which to legalise same-sex marriage.