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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Multiplicity of marriage forms in contemporary South Africa
Author:Garetto, Roberto
Periodical:East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights (ISSN 1021-8858)
Geographic term:South Africa
marriage law
customary law
Abstract:South Africa recognizes a multiplicity of marriage forms: common law marriage, customary marriage, and same-sex marriage. The South African Constitution has a high sensibility related to issues of human dignity, equality, and freedom. Respect for both cultural identity and non-discrimination is related to this trinity of values. In an axiologic perspective, however, these values can sometimes conflict, as it happens in the customary marriage - a plural marriage practiced in the form of polygyny. In South Africa, coexisting forms of marriage relate in a critical way to problems concerning non-traditional concepts of marriage. Oftentimes, when discussing the possibility of recognizing same-sex marriage, it is suggested that this would force states to recognize polygamy as well. In actuality, these two forms of marriage are easily distinguishable according to their structure and function. They only share one characteristic: the contrast with the traditional concept of marriage as 'union of one man and one woman.' Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]