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Homophobia is still rife in the townships

Kwatsaduza - Same-sex marriages were legalised in South Africa in 2006, and despite this, homophobia is still common in Kwatsaduza.

Activist and spokesperson of the Ekurhuleni Pride Organisation Committee (Epoc), Bontle Khalo, says despite the the country’s rich constitution that is inclusive of all citizens, the reality is that every single day, a lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) person is victimised and discriminated against simply because of who they are.

Khalo says there has been a growing pattern of violent crimes against members of the LGBTI community in South African townships, and this continues to be a major challenge.

She explains even though countless awareness campaigns are held, the perpetrators of these crimes are still not getting the message that LGBTI people are human beings who have rights.

“We too deserve equality, stability and life, and the government should step in,” says Khalo.

Bongane Tshabalala from Duduza believes the constitution does not adequately protect the rights of the LGBTI community.

He says while he and his friends are socially accepted in the community, there are still those who harass them because of their sexuality.

Tshabalala advises the LGBTI community to not undermine their own existence by subscribing to socially conservative views.

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