The bill as initially introduced would only have allowed civil partnerships which would be open only to same-sex couples and have the same legal consequences as marriage.It also included provisions to recognise domestic partnerships between unmarried partners, both same-sex and opposite-sex.They applied to the Constitutional Court for direct access, but this was denied on 31 July 2003; the court stated that the case raised complex issues of common and statutory law on which the SCA's views should first be heard.Fourie and Bonthuys therefore appealed the High Court judgment to the SCA, which handed down its decision on 30 November 2004.
On 24 August 2006, the Cabinet approved the Civil Union Bill for submission to Parliament.
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Same-sex marriage has been legal in South Africa since the Civil Union Act came into force on 30 November 2006.
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It signifies that their capacity for love, commitment and accepting responsibility is by definition less worthy of regard than that of heterosexual couples." There was some disagreement about the remedy: the majority (eight of the justices) ruled that the declaration of invalidity should be suspended for a year to allow Parliament to correct the situation, as there were different ways in which this could be done, and the Law Reform Commission had already investigated several proposals.