Under South African law, marriages may be performed only for heterosexual couples; however civil unions, which create the same legal rights as a marriage, may be performed for either heterosexual or same-sex couples.  South Africa also has a statute which allows transgender individuals to register their gender transition with the government if they have undergone medical or surgical treatment to alter their sexual characteristics. Registration leads to a change in the gender listed on birth certificates and in the population register. In KOS v. Minister of Home Affairs, (S.A. High Ct., Sept. 6, 2017), a South African trial court was faced with the question of how to treat couples who had entered a heterosexual marriage (not a civil union), where subsequently the husband underwent gender transitioning and registered the change in gender identity with the government.The government argued that in such cases, a gender change should not be able to be registered since it would result in a same-sex marriage, which the law does not recognize. In one of the cases, the government had instead cancelled the couple’s marriage record and insisted that they enter a civil union.  The court however, disagreed concluding that the couples must be allowed to register the gender reassignment and remain married.  Refusing to do this, the court said, violates the rights under the South African Constitution to administrative justice and to equality and human dignity. GroundUp reports on the decision.

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Have a Loving Weekend.

What are you up to this weekend? Our friends invited us over for dinner in their backyard tomorrow, and we’re also taking the boys for a ride on the carousel.… Read more
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In Milosavlejevic v. City of Brier, (WD Wash., Sept. 7, 2017), a Washington federal district court held that the city of Brier, Washington did not violate RLUIPA when it denied petitioner a height variance so he could build a personal Serbian Orthodox chapel with a 40-foot dome on his property.  The court held that the city had not substantially burdened petitioner’s free exercise, saying that he has

What’s Your Fall Uniform?

Are you wearing a uniform these days? With autumn only ten days away, we’ve been on the hunt for those easy, cozy pieces we can wear over and over.… Read more
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Fixing our financial system will be the key not only to stable growth, but also to stable politicsIt’s an amazing fact that a decade on from the financial crisis, Americans are still arguing about how to reform our financial system. Even as the Trump administration argues for a roll-back of the hard-won Dodd-Frank banking regulation, it’s worth noting that disenchantment with Wall Street is, paradoxically, one of the things that brought the president to office. Since 2008, the markets have soared, but Main Street has suffered. That disconnect was expertly exploited by the president, who, despite his many lies, had the advantage of being a political “outsider” who told some important truths about the economy that resonated with voters. Continue reading…

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