What it means for same-sex marriages as Parliament adopts Civil Union Amendment Bill

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In a hybrid sitting of Parliament’s second house, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Wednesday morning, members voted to adopt the Civil Union Amendment Bill.

According to non-profit Christian organisation Freedom of Religion SA (FOR SA), the bill proposes the removal of civil marriage officers’ right to conscientious objection, a right which protects marriage officers employed by the state from being forced to preside over marriage unions if it would violate their conscience or sincerely held beliefs.

The bill, before Wednesday’s ruling, allowed a marriage officer to inform the minister that they object on the grounds of conscience, religion and belief to solemnising a civil union between same-sex couples.

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