Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba was alarmed to hear that officials demanded proof from gays and lesbians to register their marriages.
“What shocked me the most was the attitude of the officials. When people come forward to get married, the officials ask them to provide proof that they are gay or lesbian. What kind of proof are you asking for? That shocks,” Gigaba said as he addressed journalists in Pretoria.
The same went for two foreign nationals who came to apply for asylum.
Gigaba said the officials were overstepping their professional mandate and heads would roll.
“The legal provision (for home affairs staff) to object to conducting same sex marriages meant you must provide, beforehand, your objection so that it is recorded. Nowhere in the Civil Union Act do we grant anybody a right to ask somebody whether they can provide proof of their same sex status,” he said.
The minister addressed media after a meeting with representatives of the LGBTI community.
A task team would now be established to deal with the concerns raised by the LGBTI members and provide a status report to Gigaba within two weeks.
Joshua Sehoole, regional coordinator for Iranti-org, applauded Gigaba’s intervention.
He said: “We also hope that this is something that other government departments and the government as a whole will continue to do, not only nationally, but in the region and globally.”