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Abstract

On December 1, 2005, the Constitutional Court of South Africa set that nation on course to join a small and, perhaps, surprising list of countries. Following Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada, Spain, and the American state of Massachusetts, South Africa looked set to become the fifth country and sixth jurisdiction to grant full marriage recognition to same-sex couples, Its entry is surprising, perhaps, because it is the first jurisdiction outside of the northern hemisphere and the so-called "West" to move toward such full recognition. Furthermore, South Africa-while certainly much more tolerant of same-sex relationships than its African neighbors-in many regions remains more hostile to homosexuality than Amsterdam, Madrid, Boston, or Vancouver.

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