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4940 comments delivered to parliament (closed 31 August 2023)
The Department of Home Affairs invited public comment on the Draft Marriage Bill, 2022.
- To rationalise the marriage laws pertaining to various types of marriages;
- to provide for the recognition of marriages entered into by spouses regardless of the religious, cultural, sex, gender, sexual orientation or any other belief of the spouses;
- to provide for the requirements for entering into a marriage;
- to provide for registration of marriages;
- to provide for the legal consequences of a marriage;
- to provide for consent to enter into a marriage;
- to provide for age determination;
- to provide for equal legal status and capacity of spouses to a marriage;
- to provide for the designation of marriage officers;
- to provide for solemnisation of marriages;
- to provide for the dissolution of marriages.
FOR SA’s VIEW OF (AND RECOMMENDED AMENDMENTS TO) THE MARRIAGE BILL
FOR SA is generally happy that this draft of the Marriage Bill reflects the Marriage Policy. However, we do have three religious freedom concerns with the current draft. We would therefore ask you to support the following changes we recommend are made to this Bill to ensure that the right to religious freedom is properly upheld and protected.
To help you to give reasons for the changes that you are supporting in the relevant field, you may like to copy/paste one or more of the following;
- I support the submission made by Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA).
- I specifically support the inclusion of a clause that expressly protects the religious freedom of Religious Marriage Officers (i.e. pastors, imams etc. who do not work for the State and voluntarily hold marriage licences) and the religious organisations (e.g. churches, mosques, temples etc.) to whom they belong. This will ensure that the Bill complies both with the Constitution and international law.
- I specifically support the inclusion of a clause that expressly states that Civil Marriage Officers will not be obliged to perform any ceremonial (i.e. religious functions) generally associated with the solemnisation of a marriage.
- I am concerned that the current draft of this Bill could unintentionally criminalise religious leaders who solemnise the religious ceremony only. I therefore specifically support the inclusion of a clause to avoid this potential problem and confusion.
Have your say – shape the draft Marriage Bill [CLOSED]
The new Marriage Amendment Bill has been receiving mixed signals. The bill seeks to rationalise pieces of legislation dealing with marriage and ensure that all persons, regardless of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religious or cultural beliefs, are treated equally and with dignity. But Associate Professor at the Department of Private Law at University of Western Cape, Anthony Diala, says there are many thorny issues in the bill.