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Christian News Network: Werner Groenewald’s family and friends were shocked when he decided to go to Afghanistan about 12 years ago.
News 24: “Pupils of all religions and nationalities have been prohibited from wearing traditional attire at the Deutsche Internationale Schule Kapstadt, its deputy principal said on Friday.”
AP: The White House wouldn’t say what role gay rights would play in Obama’s trip but noted that the administration “unequivocally advocates against violence and discrimination” against gays and lesbians, both in Africa and elsewhere around the world.
eNCA: A Methodist minister who was fired from her church for marrying her same-sex partner, has taken her fight to be reinstated to the courts.
Religion Clause Blog: The South African Human Rights Commission yesterday issued a statement finding the Christian-affiliated Creare Training Centre has violated Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTIs) rights to equality, dignity, religion, freedom of association, freedom and security of the person and education.
LifeSiteNews: A Christian academy in South Africa has come under attack in the media for offering to help homosexual students leave the gay lifestyle.
NCPA Policy Digest: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) have started to plan their own development bank, as well as a bailout fund to help many countries around the world. This is done in response to the growing dissatisfaction of Western banking institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), says The Diplomat.
Christian Concern: Attempts to silence the free speech rights of a Christian provincial member of parliament in South Africa have been condemned by the Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA), a Christian democratic political party in Britain.
LifeSiteNews: “People, in their minds, they think that condoms prevent the sickness,” says Bishop Xolelo Thaddaeus Kumalo of Eshowe, a small town in Zululand, in an interview with Where God Weeps. But, he says, “it helps spread it because every young person, even those who are not aware of sexual activity, is taught in the school about this condom in sexual education. They try it and that is why you still have a high rate of people being infected with this AIDS epidemic.”
Washington Post reports.
Post.co.za: A Joburg couple is claiming several million in damages from two gynaecologists and from a pathologist company after their daughter was born with Down syndrome.
Religion Clause Blog: Today’s Mail & Guardian is one of a number of South African media outlets covering criticism of an e-mail sent on behalf of South Africa’s chief justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng, to chief judges around the country urging them to attend a leadership conference presented by American evangelist and motivational speaker John C. Maxwell.
News from The Associated Press: South Africa’s government human rights agency said Tuesday it is investigating whether the Zulu king made comments that could increase anti-homosexual sentiment in a country where gays face hatred and attacks despite liberal laws ensuring their rights.
Business Day: South African Institute for Race Relations survey shows that by 2040, fertility rates are expected to drop below the “replacement level” — where couples have two children to replenish the population
LifeSiteNews.com: Contraceptive injections were administered without parental consent to young girls at a South African school, the Dispatch Online reported Monday.
AP: President Jacob Zuma on Thursday appointed Mogoeng Mogoeng as chief justice of South Africa, casting aside accusations that the judge has been lenient on rapists and is homophobic.
Bilchitz, David, Should Religious Associations Be Entitled to Discriminate? (June 10, 2011). South African Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 2, 2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1874683
Eugene Volokh at The Volokh Conspiracy: The story (which, among other things, argued that the South African Constitution should be changed to reject same-sex marriage rights) and cartoon (which suggested that recognition of same-sex marriage would logically justify recognition of human-animal marriage) are here. The account of the court decision is in the Mail & Guardian; here’s an excerpt . . .
BBC News: The South African ambassador to Uganda, a former columnist for South Africa’s Sunday Sun paper, has been found guilty of hate speech for an anti-gay article.
New scheme in South Africa allows mothers to dump unwanted newborns in ‘baby safe’ mounted on a wall
Daily Mail: A controversial new scheme will allow parents in South Africa to dump unwanted infants anonymously in a ‘babe safe’ mounted on a wall in a street. The unusual initiative was launched last week after a charity installed a unique secure dumping unit at a community centre in Cape Town.
IOL News: By the age of 17, Sindi* had had three legal abortions – two within six months and a third a year later. She is the face of a shocking trend sweeping through the nation’s youth – using abortions as a form of contraception.
Businessweek: “The Treasury department said in August it will forgo charging tax on three Islamic structures to allow home loans. The government may sell Islamic bonds after deciding whether to make tax amendments in the middle of 2011 . . . ” See Religion Clause for more information.
Deseret News: “Several years ago, a small group of academics and religious leaders began drafting an outline for what they thought freedom of religion should look like in South Africa . . . After several revisions, the document is now ready for public endorsement, which will happen at a ceremony on Oct. 21. The religions will stand together, ‘speak with one voice,’ and ask the government to enact the charter into law, a process allowed and even encouraged by their current constitution . . .”
Free Exercise of Religion: A Pragmatic and Comparative Perspective
“This short article analyzes the leading free exercise of religion cases from the U.S., South Africa, and Canada. It reveals that the most well reasoned case (from Canada) take an approach that can be called ‘constitutional pragmatism.’ This approach focuses on the factual details of the case, the social and historical context, and the likely consequences. It is also transparent in its justifications and openly balances the various competing factors on both sides of the case. Moreover, the weaker cases utilize more formalistic and abstract reasoning, tend to be overbroad, and therefore produce decisions that create doctrinal tensions with previous precedents. This comparative analysis can provide valuable lessons for religious liberty jurisprudence.”
SperoForum: “On September 10, 2010 a South African high court banned a Muslim activist from organizing a ‘Bible burning day’ at the Library Gardens in Johannesburg on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The event was meant to be a response to the planned Qur’an burning in Florida by Pastor Terry Jones.”
Telegraph: “Reports of the pregnancy comes only a fortnight after the arrival of Mr Zuma’s 21st child, which was born to the second of his current wives . . . While polygamy is accepted in South Africa, the spiralling cost to the taxpayer of Mr Zuma’s cultural observance has led to bitter clashes between the president’s ruling African National Congress and the leading opposition party. News of yet another child and another marriage is bound to reignite the debate.”
AllAfrica.com: “New Islamic financing tax laws were likely to attract more foreign investors to SA, Tasneem Gangat, a tax consultant at Grant Thornton, said yesterday. The proposed new laws would bring several types of Islamic financing transactions into the tax net and bolster SA’s gross domestic product (GDP), she said. By giving recognition to Islamic investors, SA would be on a par with other global jurisdictions.”
Independent Online: “A former Rotarian who claims three Rotary clubs discriminated against him because he was homosexual is challenging the matter in the Equality Court in Pretoria. Rhett Gardener, an attorney at the Special Investigating Unit, said in court papers he was first forced to resign from the Rotary Club of Pretoria West (RCPW) after homophobic comments.”
Washington Post: “A group of nations — including the United States, China and Russia — have for the first time signaled a willingness to engage in reducing the threat of attacks on each others’ computer networks. Although the agreement, reached this week at the United Nations, is only recommendations, Robert K. Knake, a cyberwarfare expert with the Council on Foreign Relations, said it represents a ‘significant change in U.S posture’ and is part of the Obama administration’s strategy of diplomatic engagement.”
AFP: “Almost 2,000 members of Paraguay’s Association of Evangelical Priests (APEP) on Tuesday complained about what they see as FIFA’s opposition to World Cup players making religious gestures.”
Wesley W.J. Richards writes at Christian Post: “It has been estimated that between 40,000 to 100,000 people may be trafficked during the World Cup. In January, Time magazine reported on a three-week investigation into human trafficking. Finding a lucrative trade in child sex near two stadiums, one trafficker said, ‘I’m really looking forward to doing more business during the World Cup.’ Children can earn $45 to $600 a night for their captors . . . ”
Religion Clause Blog: “As described by the paper’s editor Nic Dawes, the cartoon shows ‘the Prophet Muhammad reclining on a therapist’s couch and saying sadly ‘Other prophets’ followers have a sense of humour’.’ (Link to cartoon.)”
Christian Science Monitor: “As with the 2006 World Cup in Germany, a rampant sex trade is of concern to human rights groups ahead of the World Cup 2010 in South Africa, which kicks off next month. Prostitutes, many from impoverished Zimbabwe, are arriving to cash in on an estimated 500,000 visiting fans . . . ”
Legalbrief: “Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba said the SA Law Commission had been asked to investigate the possibility of such a ban. Gigaba said the Film and Publications Amendment Act would assist the government in stamping out child pornography, especially during the World Cup.”
The Botswana Gazette: “Roman Catholic Church, Botswana, has launched a campaign aimed at raising awareness against the likelihood of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children during the World Cup football tournament in South Africa.”
Jakarta Globe: “Today seven countries, five US states and several Latin American cities have legalized same-sex marriage. The Netherlands ushered the way in 2001, the first nation to permit same-sex couples to marry legally. This historic decision marked a turning point, with demands for equality reverberating across borders. Barriers fell as Belgium (2003), Canada and Spain (2005), South Africa (2006), Norway and Sweden (2009) each approved legislation.”
AP: “Police in this small town in eastern South Africa thought they had a problem with prostitutes they could solve in the usual way – arrest the women and get them off the streets. Then Warrant Officer Magda Scholtz found herself doing something unusual. She talked to the women, curious about what had brought them to Ermelo. She found the problem was human traffickers . . . ”
Lourens Du Plessis, Religious Freedom and Equality as Celebration of Difference: A Significant Development in Recent South African Constitutional Case-Law (February, 18 2010). Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, Vol. 12, No. 4, 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1555222
“This contribution focuses on the way in which the South African Constitutional Court has, since 1997, been dealing with the (seemingly) eccentric claims of (assumedly) idiosyncratic ‘religious Others’. Developments in this regard have, for the time being at least, culminated in the Constitutional Court’s landmark judgment in MEC for Education: KwaZulu Natal v Pillay 2008 (2) BCLR 99 (CC), 2008 (1) SA 474 (CC) (hereafter Pillay). Constitutional Court judgments since 1997 manifesting the adjudication of such unconventional claims are assessed, eventually getting to Pillay as benchmark. This remarkable judgment, dealing with a deceptively mundane issue, has played a considerable role in fleshing out a jurisprudence of difference, putting an adherent of a vulnerable, minority religion in the right. This is not just a high point in the adjudication of constitutional entitlements of the religious (and cultural) Other in South Africa, but also a significant contribution to the growth of a jurisprudence sensitive to the predicaments and constitutional entitlements of unconventional, ‘non-mainstream’ claimants of religious (and cultural) rights.”
Politics Web: “The ACDP calls on the Municipality to make more land and buildings available for Christians to pray for peace, which this country so desperately needs. We will support and fight for the right of Christians to pray and worship without further harassment by politicians.”
Mail & Guardian Online: “If DSTV went ahead with plans for a channel featuring pornographic content, it would be like pouring fuel on the ‘fires of sexual abuse and exploitation’, the Christian Action Network network said on Thursday.”
Weekend Post: “While the SA National Blood Service is pleading for residents to donate blood this holiday season, members of the gay community in Nelson Mandela Bay say they are battling to donate blood because of strict policies. Eastern Cape Gay and Lesbian Association president Christina Engela said the blood service was discriminating against gay men and trans-gender donors in Nelson Mandela Bay through the use of a ‘six-month rule.’”
LifeSiteNews: “Earlier this month, the Department of Home Affairs of the government of South Africa announced its intention to develop an “inter-departmental protocol” on preventing child pornography . . . ”
IOL.co.za: “Oudtshoorn residents have vented their frustrations online about the Muslim call to prayer being recited over a loudspeaker from the local mosque, and have called on the Christian community to intervene.”
Independent Online: “COSATU has called for prostitution to be decriminalised and unionised in a draft document due to be discussed at the union’s 10th conference in Midrand on September 21. The union even went so far as to say that sex work should be ‘part of the broader campaign of job creation.’”
NY Daily News: “The IAAF has given new meaning to the term ‘governing body.’ The organization, which oversees track and field internationally, has asked the South African athletics federation to conduct a gender verification exam on the nation’s running sensation, Caster Semenya, who Wednesday won the 800-meter event at the World Championships in Berlin.”
LifeSiteNews: “The world’s largest abortion provider, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), has recently acknowledged an alarming “surge” in maternal deaths in South Africa, challenging the pro-abortion mantra that liberal abortion laws decrease maternal mortality. Maternal deaths increased by twenty per cent in the period 2005-2007 in South Africa, a country that since 1996 has had one of the most permissive abortion laws on the African continent.”
Ernest Mabuza reports at Business Day: “All the widows of a polygynous Muslim marriage — entered into under Muslim personal law — will be entitled to claim from the estate of a husband who dies without leaving a will, the Constitutional Court ruled yesterday.”
TIME: “South Africans received a horrifying measure of just how bad their country’s rape crisis is with the release this week of a study in which more than a quarter of men admitted to having raped, and 46% of those said that they had raped more than once.”
iol reports: “‘The inaction of the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] has undermined the City’s programme to reduce crime,’ safety and security chairperson, Councillor JP Smith, said in a statement.”
GayPolitics.com reports: “South African president Kgalema Motlanthe has appointed openly gay and HIV-positive judge Edwin Cameron to the nation’s highest court . . . “
My paper will examine the evolution of South African legislation and constitutional jurisprudence in the face of competing imperatives, for example, between equality, legal pluralism, customary law/religious law, and the recognition of polygamy.
A series of workshops, hosted by the South African government and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), are being held to enlist the support of the media in raising the public profile of human trafficking.
The Independent Online reports: “Sex work should be decriminalised and regulated by the same labour legislation as other sectors of the economy, an Institute for Security Studies report recommended on Thursday.”
The Herald Online reports: “A GROUND-BREAKING study on sex work and human trafficking in Cape Town, authored by Chandré Gould, of Hoekwil near George, was launched last night with a critical thinking forum that aims to encourage legalisation of the …
Recent litigation and legislation regarding same-sex relationships in South Africa casts a spotlight on the interaction between sexuality and democracy, but the illumination is partial. It is necessary to explore sexuality in a broader context, including discomfiting sexual practices, as a matter of the democratic constitutional norms of equality and dignity.
Thaddeus M. Baklinski reports on LifeSite News: "The South African Parliament last Thursday passed a controversial bill that would allow girls as young as 12 to obtain abortions without their parents’ consent, provide for 24-hour abortion facilities, eliminate pre-approval processes, …