1887

n Historia - Shifting sexual morality? Changing views on homosexuality in Afrikaner society during the 1960s

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Abstract

A police raid on a gay party in Johannesburg in 1966 set in motion a series of events which led to a proposal in parliament that there be amendments made to the Immorality Act that would criminalise male and female homosexuality. In an attempt to block these amendments, the Homosexual Law Reform Fund was established to state the case of the middle-class gay community before the select committee that had been formed to conduct an enquiry on the proposed legislative amendments. This is seen as the beginning of the organised gay rights movement in South Africa. For Afrikaner society, the work of the parliamentary select committee was particularly significant because in 1968 it triggered a debate in the letter column of at least one Afrikaans newspaper, . It was a historic debate. Previously homosexuality had not been a topic for public discussion in "decent" Afrikaner circles. Now the taboo was lifted for the first time. After the 1968 homosexuality debate there was freer dissemination of information about gay people and the discourse on homosexuality slowly gained momentum. This article contextualises, analyses and evaluates the 1968 debate.

'n Polisieklopjag op 'n partytjie vir gays in Johannesburg vroeg in 1966 het â??n kettingreaksie veroorsaak, wat gelei het tot â??n voorstel in die parlement dat die Ontugwet gewysig moet word. Die bedoeling was om homoseksualiteit onder beide mans en vroue te kriminaliseer. Om so 'n wetswysiging te probeer stuit, is die Homosexual Law Reform Fund in die lewe geroep om die gay middelklasgemeenskap se saak te stel aan die gekose komitee wat ondersoek moes instel na die voorgestelde wetswysiging. Hierdie kortstondige maar suksesvolle organisasie word beskou as die begin van 'n georganiseerde beweging vir gay-regte in Suid-Afrika. Vir die Afrikanersamelewing is die parlementêre gekose komitee van besondere belang, want dit het in 1968 'n debat in die briewekolomme van Afrikaanse koerante soos aan die gang gesit. Voorheen was homoseksualiteit nie 'n onderwerp wat in die openbaar deur â??ordentlikeâ?? Afrikaners bespreek is nie. Die briewedebat in die koerante het die taboe onherroeplik opgehef. Daarna is inligting oor homoseksualiteit openliker versprei en die diskoers oor homoseksualiteit het geleidelik onder Afrikaners momentum gekry. Hierdie artikel kontekstualiseer, ontleed en evalueer die 1968-debat.

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/content/hist/57/2/EJC129622
2012-11-01
2016-12-08
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