On Thursday 22 February 2024, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Embassy of France in South Africa, Lesotho, and Malawi (Embassy of France), and the Delegation of Flanders, successfully hosted a compelling film and panel discussion celebrating two decades of the legal recognition of Same-Sex Marriages in Belgium, France and South Africa.

Trailer: To Have and II Hold

The event, which took place at the Javett Art Centre, was well attended by members of the diplomatic community in South Africa, civil society organisations, academic staff and students as well as parents and partners of LGBTIQ+ persons within the network of the hosts.

Mr. Lloyd Kuveya, Assistant Director of the Centre for Human Rights, shared opening remarks with the attendees, recognising and reaffirming the timely celebration of same-sex marriages in light of the pronounced regression in the protection of the rights of sexual and gender minorities globally and regionally. This was followed by pledges of support and reaffirmations of commitment to advancing the rights of same sex couples and the LGBTIQ+ community by His Excellency Mr. Paul Jansen, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium, Political Counsellor at the Embassy of France, Mr. Alexandre Brochard and the General Representative of Flanders Dr. Geraldine Reymenants, in their remarks on the project and the film screening. 

In reflecting on the film-making process, Dr. David Ikpo and Tshepang Mamaregane, the director and producer of the documentary,  shared how the project played a crucial role in elevating the stories and voices of same sex couples and how it was a powerful tool to track the current realities of same sex couples in the context of legal recognition in the aforementioned nations.

A highlight of the event was the panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Landilani Banda, Project Manager at the Centre for Human Rights in conversation with Prof. Melanie Judge, queer and feminist activist and scholar, Yves Aerts, General Coordinator at Çavaria,  as well as activist Tamsin Jacobs-Wort, who was also part of the documentary with her partner. The panel critically explored the influence and intersections of the social, political and economic arena on the framing of marriage and civil unions; as well as the importance of documenting the lived realities of the communities beyond the legal recognition in order to hold society and states accountable to promoting and protecting the rights of same sex couples.

The evening concluded with a cocktail reception, providing attendees with an opportunity to network and reflect on the importance of advancing LGBTQ+ rights globally, regionally and nationally. The event exemplified a collaborative effort to promote inclusivity and celebrate the progress towards equality and acceptance for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Centre would like to thank the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium, France and the delegation of the Flanders for their support in the conceptualisation, producing the documentary and screening it before a big audience at the Javett Art Centre.  The Centre also thanks the filming crew and all the participants for making the film an enlightening success. 

For more information about the Centre for Human Rights and same-sex marriage recognition please contact: 

Landilani Banda
Acting Project Manager: SOGIESC Unit

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 3151

Mx Chanel van der Linde
Project Officer: SOGIESC Unit

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 3151

Ms Naledi Mpanza (she/her)
LGBTQIA+ Officer

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 3151


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