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Attitudes and beliefs about homosexuality and same-sex marriage among a sample of South African students

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Abstract:

With the enactment of the Civil Unions Bill in 2006, South Africa became the fifth country in the world, and the first in Africa, to legalize same-sex marriage. While supporters of the bill hailed the decision as signaling the end of discrimination against homosexual couples, critics slammed it as undermining traditional marriage between a man and woman. The attitudes and beliefs of a sample of South African students regarding homosexuality and same-sex marriage were investigated. A survey was conducted among a sample of 150 undergraduate students at a predominantly black university in the Western Cape. Results showed that 71% viewed same-sex marriages as strange and supported religious groups opposed to such marriages. Close to 40% supported discrimination against homosexuals with 46% indicating that they should be denied the right to adopt children. It is concluded that, despite having legal protection, public acceptance of homosexuals and same-sex marriage may be quite limited in South Africa.

Keywords: CIVIL UNIONS BILL; HOMOSEXUALITY; SAME-SEX MARRIAGE; SOUTH AFRICA

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2009.37.6.801

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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