In defence of Carina.

Author:Ka-Gwata, Mzukisi
Position:READERS' VIEWS - Letter to the editor

I refer to Carina Ray's "Confronting Homophobia" (NA Feb & April) and the responses that her column elicited. The introduction of a new constitution in South Africa in 1996 brought a new dispensation on how South Africans were to look at individual freedoms.

The Bill of Rights set out non-negotiables that were to be viewed as some-what sacrosanct; it guaranteed freedoms of speech, association, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Some in South Africa did not like the liberal approach that the constitution seemed to take to things. The religious lobby was among the unhappiest lot. But time has come to pass.

South Africa has a thriving gay/lesbian community that is asserting its presence. Here gay/lesbian people are well-known, and it is becoming a norm to have them in our communities.

One of the well-known NGOs, Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), which fights for the rights of HIV/Aids patients, was founded by a gay person, Zackie Achmat. Judge Edwin Cameron, who now sits in the Constitutional Court (the highest court in the land), is openly gay.

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