Parliament is expected to vote tomorrow on the controversial Civil Union Bill which will, for the first time in Africa, allow same-sex couples to marry.

The Bill is expected to pass after the ANC – which is the majority party – ordered all its cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and MPs to vote for the legislation.

While the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA was lobbying to allow traditional leaders who are members of the ANC to be allowed to abstain as a matter of conscience, the party has said that there would be no exceptions for its parliamentarians.

The DA will allow its members to decide for themselves on how to vote according to their conscience, while the ID has chosen to vote against the Bill as it believes it is unconstitutional. The IFP and ACDP are expected to vote against, as they are principally opposed to same-sex marriage.

Once passed by the National Assembly, the Bill must be accepted by the National Council of Provinces and then be signed by the President before it becomes law. The government was given until December 1 to legalise same-sex marriage by the Constitutional Court.

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