South Africa claims to have the world’s most progressive constitution, but that ain’t the case for the country’s queers.
The results are anything but promising:
In a survey conducted by the Joint Working Group (JWG) – a network of South African Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) organisations – more than 1 800 people from Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape were asked to comment on victimisation they had encountered because of their sexuality.
Most respondents cited verbal abuse, including “hurtful jokes” as a common experience, and 61 men and women in Gauteng reported they had been physically assaulted.
Across all three provinces, 73 had been sexually abused or raped as a direct result of their sexual orientation.
According to the report, black men and women were at “higher risk” of being raped or sexually assaulted.
JWG and other gay rights activists plan on meeting next week to discuss their next step. Just goes to show you – no matter how inclusive a constitution may be, it’s only as effective as those wielding it. And, obviously, the ANC and South Africa’s other leaders aren’t wielding it well enough.