to provide evidence about the populations attitude towards LGBT rights:

Although the Constitutional and legal system in South Africa theoretically ensure equality, social acceptance is generally lacking, especially outside of urban areas in the eastern half of the country. A 2008 survey found that 84% of South Africans said homosexual sexual behavior is always wrong, compared to 8% who said that it is not wrong at all.[38] In a 2013 survey, 61% said society should not accept homosexuality.[39]


"Homosexuality is a taboo to us," he says. "I'll go back to African traditions, there's no word for that in our language."

I ask what would happen if one of his daughters told him she was a lesbian.

"I might kill her myself. That thing is unnatural, it's awkward, so I cannot accept something that is awkward in my house.

"If someone said choose between keeping this child or killing it, I would kill it."

That is a very strong contrast to the strong laws in favor for LGBT rights. Hence my question:

Why had the south African government implemented those rights, which are the exact opposition to the majority of the south African population? Don't get me wrong, I love LGBT rights, but i don't understand this in terms of democracy: If the population is against LGBT rights, but the government implements exactly that, democracy has failed.

Therefore, it makes no sense at all to implement that for the government (e.g. to have an appearance of a modern state), because they won't be elected again.

  • 4
    Note that you could ask the same question about the USA, considering that the majority of the states had democratically-passed constitutional amendments against same-sex marriage at the time of Obergefell.
    – dan04
    Apr 8, 2016 at 0:23
  • A lot of democracies have learned that the majority opinion is often wrong. This question is answering itself...the reason the government is educating their population is because of their opinion of this topic.
    – user1530
    May 10, 2016 at 14:48

2 Answers 2


To answer your question, why do they implement these rights even if the majority opposes them: Because the South African Bill of Rights guarantees and protects the rights of ALL people regardless of their race, origin....and sexual orientation. Basically what you are asking is why majority rule should not override the Bill of Rights and the reasons for that are plenty most notably the dangers of 'tyranny of the majority'.

A practical example is slavery. Even if the majority of the population of certain countries of the world supported it at one point in time, our current understanding of Human Rights cannot justify it and in some parts of the world it was outlawed whilst it still enjoyed popular support. Hence the reason why the Bill of Rights of South Africa requires six of the Nine provinces of the National Council of Provinces on top of the normal two thirds majority in Parliament that a normal constitutional amendment requires. So even if the South African government opposed LGBTQ rights (which they did, see case National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality v Minister of Justice) the Constitutional Court struck down their opposition to anti-LGBTQ laws by de-decriminalization of sodomy all the way to legalizing gay marriage long before the USA got round to it.

Paragraph 71 of the ConCourt judgement in that case stated:

The exclusion of same-sex couples from the benefits and responsibilities of marriage, accordingly, is not a small and tangential inconvenience resultingfrom a few surviving relics of societal prejudice destined to evaporate like the morning dew. It represents a harsh if oblique statement by the law that same-sex couples are outsiders, and that their need for affirmation and protection of their intimate relations as human beings is somehow less than that of heterosexual couples. It reinforces the wounding notion that they are to be treated as biological oddities, as failed or lapsed human beings who do not fit into normal society, and, as such, do not qualify for the full moral concern and respect that our Constitution seeks to secure for everyone. It signifies that their capacity for love, commitment and accepting responsibility is by definition less worthy of regard than that of heterosexual couples.

TLDR: It's an issue of human rights rather than the will of the majority. The South African Judicial System recognised that and enforced it in law even when the government and the population opposed it.


Because SA is not only filled with a traditionalist mind set people(although this dominates in terms of numbers but there is a faction evolving from this, making this 'new generation'). When SA became a democracy people agreed to accept each other, this was better than a bloodshed genocide.

The ANC has majority rule in SA, and for the foreseeable future they will be the ruling party in SA, they have brainwashed their own people to an insulting point, and on the other side they given things to other groups of people just to reflect conflict.

So in terms of accepting gays and lesbians and making a law to go with it, in my opinion was just to keep certain group of people happy, so that they wouldn't make noise to a point where it sparks any international response. The ANC have enough to deal with..

  • Could you please improve your answer by providing evidence supporting your claims?
    – uuu
    Apr 7, 2016 at 16:01
  • For editing your question, you may want to have a look at our tour
    – uuu
    Apr 7, 2016 at 16:08
  • 3
    I have to admit that I know practically nothing about south africa, but "they have brainwashed their own people to an insulting point" sounds like a very polemic and opinionated statement to me. This website tries to provide objective information about politics, so such statements are generally not welcome, especially without a source to back up such a bold claim.
    – Philipp
    Apr 7, 2016 at 16:24
  • 1
    I'm having trouble understanding your answer. Could you edit it keeping in mind that many people aren't familiar with South Africa politics, and might not know who the ANC is? Apr 7, 2016 at 17:09
  • My answer comes from a personal observation point, so yes it is my opinion. I live in SA and am familiarly with the politics here. You see our government(ANC) was a respectable brand when freedom fighters where fighting for the freedom of their people and our country back in apartheid years. Then apartheid finished, Madiba became our president , was a voice for unity. Now the ANC is corrupted from the top to a lot of ministers even. Corruption is a cancer in our country and the government gives stupid excuses for their action. A swimming pool became a fire pool :/ Apr 11, 2016 at 11:18

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