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To Have and to Hold: The Making of Same-Sex Marriage in South Africa

Melanie Judge, Anthony Manion & Shaun de Waal (editors)

On 30 November 2006, South Africa became the world's fifth country and Africa's first to legalise marriage for same-sex couples. To Have and To Hold: The Making of Same-Sex Marriage in South Africa explores the complex journey leading up to this historic legislative reform. By bringing together interviews, essays and documents, the collection recognises the multiplicity of viewpoints on the topic, as well as the multiple aspects and efforts that shaped the making of same-sex marriage in South Africa. It seeks to represent those perspectives by drawing on the opinions of a wide range of experts as well as representing those for whom the reform holds the most meaning – the people whose marriages can now be legally recognised.

Whether the attainment of the right to marry and the Civil Union Act itself should warrant celebration or circumspection is examined through various essays by academics, attorneys, researchers, activists and others. The book explores the national debate on the topic and the consequences of the legislation.

The combination of historical documents, personal reflections, and academic and activist analyses of same-sex marriage makes To Have and To Hold invaluable for understanding this historic journey and its legal, social, cultural and religious ramifications.

About the editors

Melanie is a feminist and an LGBT activist. She holds a Master's degree in Development Studies, an Honours degree in Psychology and a Business Management diploma. Melanie's work focuses on strategy development, training, and advocacy in the fields of HIV/AIDS, and gender and sexual rights in South Africa and Africa. She has been extensively involved in lobbying and advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. Melanie’s journal articles and opinion pieces have been published both nationally and internationally and she co-edited the book To Have and To Hold: The Making of Same-sex Marriage in South Africa. Melanie is an independent contractor and an Associate of Inyathelo – the South African Institute for Advancement. She serves on the governing board of the Triangle Project and GALA.

Shaun de Waal was born in 1965 in Johannesburg. He has worked for the Mail & Guardian newspaper since 1989, having been literary editor from 1991 to 2005 and chief film critic since 1998. His books and arts journalism have been published there and elsewhere; his fiction has been published in journals and anthologies, as well as in book form (These Things Happen, 1996). His graphic novelette Jackmarks was published in 1998. He edited several volumes of the M&G Bedside Book, and co-wrote a monograph on South African artist Steven Cohen (2003); a new collection of his short fiction is due out in 2006. He has won the Sanlam Award for his fiction and the Thomas Pringle Award (twice) for his criticism.

Anthony Manion is the director of Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA). He was educated at the University of Cape Town, and has a particular interest in making history accessible to the public.


Publisher: Fanele, an imprint of Jacana Media
ISBN: 9781920196059
Format: paperback
Pages: 354 pp

To have and to hold