Essay on The Acceptance of Homosexuality in South Africa

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Pages: 10

The Acceptance of Homosexuality in South Africa
For hundreds of years South Africa has endured a constant power struggle, oppression under the apartheid government, the AIDS epidemic and homophobia. Internationally there are currently four countries that permit same-sex marriages, which include the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Canada. Even though homosexuality remains largely taboo in South Africa, the country is taking steps towards overall equality and improved human rights allowing such unions to take place where this lifestyle was once forbidden.
In modern day Africa homosexuality is illegal for gay men in 29 countries and for lesbians in 20 countries making homophobia a widespread epidemic. This legal status of homosexuals in
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In October 1990, eight hundred people participated in Africa's first Gay Pride Parade in Johannesburg. An estimated 30% of the participants were black. The following year there where over two thousand supporters of the movement. The growing visibility of homosexuality began to break down the walls that were hiding this prohibited lifestyle from the public eye. Even though these walls were being broken down it is still not as accepted. In some African countries homosexuality is still considered to be a curse, disease, or the work of witchcraft. In some black townships the view of homosexuals as being evil makes it extremely dangerous to expose your preferences because deadly attacks are commonplace.
Women are more targeted by these attacks in some communities because there is a cruel logic that all they need is an "initiation" into heterosexual lifestyle through sex before they understand that homosexuality is a bad thing. These women who endure this treatment or initiation have been raped, beaten, stabbed, and murdered in some cases. Rape is often seen as an act that can alter the sexual orientation of gay women the first time. Apart from the amount of psychological damage that can be done, rape can also lead to the contraction of a sexually-transmitted diseases like AIDS or becoming pregnant. With the new laws and improved constitution women's rights is being revised