n South African Medical Journal - Gender and sexual diversity - changing paradigms in an ever-changing world : editorial

Volume 105, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Enshrined in the Bill of Rights of South Africa's Constitution are a number of rights that affirm the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. Section 9(3) states that 'The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.' Despite these rights, which are also embodied in policy and law at the highest levels internationally, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender and intersex (LGBTI) people are subjected to discrimination, abuse, violence and even death because they do not fit into the expectations of what certain sectors of society consider to be the 'norm'.

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