Two Men Marry in First Gay Traditional African Ceremony

by Sergio N. Candido
Tuesday Apr 16, 2013

Two gay South African men recently got married in what is believed to be one of the first gay marriages under the Zulu and Tswana traditions.

The ceremony for Tshepo Cameron Modisane and Thoba Calvin Sithol, both 27, took place on April 7 in the town of KwaDukuza in KwaZulu-Natal, in front of 200 guests.

Despite homophobia violence still high in most African countries, the men's union was a celebrated event in their town, with a local newspaper making it a front page story, according to a February profile of the two by Mamba Online.

Tshepo told Mamba that with their openness they "hope to inspire people out there who are still struggling to come to terms with their sexuality,"

"We see no reason to hide in darkness as if there is something to be ashamed about. Our marriage is largely symbolic and a sign that black gay men can commit and build family through a happy and loving marriage," he said.

His partner Thoba added, "This is who we are and we are just tired of people judging with no understanding. We are people and entitled to live life to the fullest."

Same-sex marriage has been legal in South Africa since 2006. The grooms said they plan to have children through a surrogate mother.

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  • Oh Jed said:, 2013-04-17 09:20:03

    Must’ve been a spectalular and powerful ceremony. I wish them the best.

  • BlondieSL, 2013-04-17 18:12:01

    This is so amazing. And South Africa has had legal same-sex marriage since 2006? Amazing, considering the severe homophobia known in the area. Makes one wonder why the great USA is having such trouble making it legal federally. >:/

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