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Unions to push for gay rights

in SOUTH AFRICA, 20/09/2012

Three Cosatu affiliates are pushing for a resolution that will force the government to take a firm stand to protect the rights of lesbians and gays.

Numsa, Samwu and Denosa say the government must speak out unequivocally against hate crimes . The unions are lobbying other Cosatu affiliates to endorse the resolution to put pressure on the ANC-led government to bring legislation before Parliament dealing with hate crimes.

"We resolved that government holds accountable any political figure who encourages the idea that transgender people are not normal and should be deprived of their rights," the unions said.

"Police and magistrates (must) be sensitised to these issues and be trained to deal with victims."

The affiliates have put forward a proposal that the congress should resolve to develop campaigns with specific focus on gender equality and human trafficking and oppose any legislation that seeks to promote patriarchy, such as the recently drafted Traditional Courts Bill.

The unions also support programmes and campaigns aimed at eliminating harmful traditional practices such as ukuthwala.

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