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The minor opposition African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) pushed for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman; this was rejected by the National Assembly's portfolio committee on Home Affairs.Public hearings on the Civil Union Bill began on 20 September.It signifies that their capacity for love, commitment and accepting responsibility is by definition less worthy of regard than that of heterosexual couples." There was some disagreement about the remedy: the majority (eight of the justices) ruled that the declaration of invalidity should be suspended for a year to allow Parliament to correct the situation, as there were different ways in which this could be done, and the Law Reform Commission had already investigated several proposals.If Parliament did not end the inequality by 1 December 2006, then words would automatically be "read in" to the Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriages.Although the party had been split on the issue, the vote meant that ANC MPs would be obliged to support the bill in Parliament.The full party support came after members of the national executive committee reminded party members that the ANC had fought for human rights, which included gay rights.

They applied to the Constitutional Court for direct access, but this was denied on 31 July 2003; the court stated that the case raised complex issues of common and statutory law on which the SCA's views should first be heard.Fourie and Bonthuys therefore appealed the High Court judgment to the SCA, which handed down its decision on 30 November 2004.The five-judge court ruled unanimously that the common-law definition of marriage was invalid because it unconstitutionally discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation, and that it should be extended to read "Marriage is the union of two persons to the exclusion of all others for life." The court was, however, divided on the problem of the Marriage Act, which required a marriage officer to follow a formula which did not allow for same-sex marriage., CDMX Netherlands: · Netherlands proper New Zealand: · New Zealand proper Norway Portugal South Africa Spain Sweden United Kingdom: · England and Wales · Scotland · AX and DX, AC, AQ · IO, GI, GG*, IM, PN United States: · United States proper · GU, MP, PR, VI · some tribal jurisdictions Uruguay Andorra Australia: · ACT, NSW, QLD, · SA, TAS, VIC Austria Chile Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Ecuador Estonia* Germany Greece Hungary Italy Japan: · Iga, Naha, Setagaya · Shibuya, Takarazuka Liechtenstein Malta Mexico: · Tlaxcala Netherlands: · Aruba* Slovenia Switzerland Taiwan: · CG, CH, CS, HH, · KH, NT, TG, TN, · TP, TY, IL United Kingdom: · Northern Ireland · Jersey Same-sex marriage has been legal in South Africa since the Civil Union Act came into force on 30 November 2006.The decision of the Constitutional Court in the case of Minister of Home Affairs v Fourie on 1 December 2005 extended the common-law definition of marriage to include same-sex spouses—as the Constitution of South Africa guarantees equal protection before the law to all citizens regardless of sexual orientation—and gave Parliament one year to rectify the inequality in the marriage statutes.

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