"South Africans may legally embrace same-sex marriages, but deep down an overwhelming majority are homophobic.You can read the rest of The Times article here.
The annual South African Social Attitudes Survey, which was conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council, to be released tomorrow, shows that a staggering 80% of South Africans are still largely prejudiced against rather than accepting of gay and lesbian relationships.
The study, conducted by Ben Roberts and Vasu Reddy, found that between 2003 and 2007 more than 80% of the population consistently felt that sex between two men or two women was always wrong. It also found that gays and lesbians were characterised as “un-African” and that intolerance towards homosexuality was prevalent.
South Africa was ranked alongside countries such as Chile and the Philippines, where intolerance towards gays and lesbians was more than five times higher than in the Netherlands."
I am not surprised by these findings.
One will often hear folks speak of our democratic constitution and our embrace of same-sex unions, etc, but many of those same folk are ardently anti-gay, and often, violently so.
One popular argument that goes around when the issue of gay rights and same-sex marraiges come up is the view that white liberals wrote the constitution and hence the emphasis on gay rights.
The widely accepted view, as noted above, is that being gay is un-African. It is an ignorant, harmful, and essentialist view of what it means to be African.
And sadly it is much the same kind of beligerent intolerance that defines and drives sexism, racism, and xenophobia in South Africa.