13 December 2015
Full LGBT equality in South Africa is to receive help for one of its causes from a rather unlikely source.
The homophobic African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) is proposing a bill to allow parents of adoptive or surrogate children to be granted 10 weeks parental leave.
The law, if passed, would also, by definition apply to same-sex parents, something which the party said it begrudgingly was forced to accept.
In an interview with local newspaper, The Sunday Times, ACDP MP Cheryllyn Dudley said:
“Homosexual adoption is not ideal but we [are] doing this at a time when it is legal. I didn’t make it an LGBTI issue. Parental leave applies to everybody.”
The proposed bill aims to grant adoptive or surrogate parents a minimum 10 consecutive days leave from the day the child is born or the day the adoption order is granted.
Under South Africa's current Basic Conditions of Employment Act, only pregnant female employees are entitled to at least four consecutive months of maternity leave. It does not address leave for fathers or non-biological mothers, other than allowing for three days of family responsibility leave following the birth of a child.
The ACDP is well known in South Africa for its anti-gay views and even went as far as to publicly support the University of Cape Town's now ousted SRC Vice-President, Zizipho Pae, back in July when she described the US Supreme Court’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage as “institutionalising and normalising sin”.