The text of the lectures
The Hon. Justice Edwin Cameron
Supreme Court of Appeal, Republic of South Africa
Sexual orientation and the law: a test case for human rights
It is a great honour for me to be part of this occasion. I bring you greetings and congratulations from my own country, the Republic of South Africa. I am honoured to have been asked, as a South African, to give the keynote address on this happy and festive, but also solemn, occasion. Tonight we mark fifteen years of courageous, principled struggle on the part of RKLambda, and its director, Mr Helmut Graupner. I pay particular tribute to Helmut’s indefatigable work. It was Helmut who suggested the title of my lecture this evening: ‘sexual orientation and the law – a test case for human rights’. That title was taken from a university lecture that I delivered in South Africa in 1992, fourteen years ago. It was a delicate point in the negotiations that preceded my country’s transition. It was a time of great hope and expectation. The African National Congress – the voice of the majority of South Africa’s people – had recently been unbanned, and the apartheid government was negotiating with it and other parties for a peaceful transition to a democratic constitutional state...