Joburg Pride has recognised the recent attacks on the constitutional right to equality of LGBT South Africans in its newly-announced theme for 2012.

The theme for this year’s event, taking place at the Zoo Lake Sports Club on Saturday 6 October, is “Protect Our Rights”.

The organisation said in a statement that the theme underscores Joburg Pride’s ongoing support of basic human rights, as highlighted in South Africa’s Constitution.

In May, protests were held by LGBT groups in reaction to a 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 said that they do not back the proposal and it is unlikely to be taken further, there has been concern that it went as far as being considered by the Constitutional Review Committee of the National Assembly.

“Human rights cannot be taken for granted – as highlighted with recent calls from some political quarters to change South Africa’s Constitution to remove clauses pertaining to sexual orientation,” said the Joburg Pride board.

“Hence, this year’s loud-and-proud message – that South Africa’s LGBTI community should stand together as one, protecting and supporting the Constitution and its protection of fundamental human rights. Ultimately, a strike against the human rights of South Africa’s LGBTI community is a strike against the human rights of ALL South Africans.”

It added: “Of course, as a reflection of the LGBTI community, Joburg Pride will – as always – offer a frisky mix of fun, flair and finesse, rounding out its important messaging.”

Thus far, reaction to the theme announcement on Facebook has been positive. Robert Quintin Collins commented: “Congrats on your Theme this year. I take my hat off to the team that voted in the Theme. Well done and good luck for Pride in Jozi this year.”

Joburg Pride is the African continent’s first and largest annual LGBTI celebration and in 2011 attracted an estimated 22,000 participants.

What do you think of the 2012 Joburg Pride theme? Tell us below.

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