On April 9, 2016 News24 reported: Pietermaritzburg – Constitutional Court Judge Edwin Cameron has said that while there is an increasing acceptance of homosexuals in many parts of South Africa and in Africa, life continues to be difficult for members of the LGBTI – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex – community.Cameron was delivering the inaugural address at the Eudy Simelane Memorial lecture which formed part of a two-day conference organised by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the KwaZulu-Natal Church Council and the Gay and Lesbian Network.
The aim of the gathering was to look at how communities and the church treated same-sex relationships 22 years into democracy. The theme was: “Homophobia and the Church in Africa – A Dialogue”.
Eudy Simelane was a soccer player for South Africa’s Women’s national team Banyana Banyana who was found dead in April 2008 in an open field after being stabbed several times because of her sexual orientation. She was also gang-raped.
The killing sent shockwaves through the country at the time.Vulnerable groupLesbians remain a vulnerable group in South Africa, said Cameron.
“Vulnerability as a woman and as a lesbian is a particularly lethal combination in our community,” said Cameron, citing incidents of “corrective rape” as an illustration of the dangers that lesbians faced. In addition to this, the judge said, within the LGBTI community there were challenges that needed to be overcome, including the feeling of shame that gays and lesbians sometimes felt and the fear of being labelled as incomplete humans.
He said it was necessary to highlight the role that was played by people who claimed to be religious.