On a global scale, the politics around the recognition of same-sex relationships has turned into legal controversies while opposition to it is often framed in religious terms. This article takes the case of Christian mobilization around the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in South Africa to investigate the intertwinement of religious and sexual rights struggles. Linking the anthropology of law, the sociolegal literature on judicialization, and studies of public religion, it argues that both same-sex activism and religious mobilization should be understood in terms of judicial politics. The article analyses religious responses to lesbian and gay judicial activism and presents a typology that reveals the structured diversity of these responses in terms of public discourse, political strategy, and legal argument. Two dimensions are key to conceptualizing these responses: religious communities’ ontological concepts of the world, including ideas about human agency and God, and their relationships to the world, construed in terms of political habitus.
KirschThomas G.KirschThomas G.TurnerBertram‘Constitutionally Divine: Legal Hermeneutics in African Pentecostal Christianity’Permutations of Order: Religion and Law as Contested Sovereignties2009FarnhamAshgate165184
ReddyVasuSteynMelissavan ZylMikky‘Queer Marriage: Sexualising Citizenship and the Development of Freedoms in South Africa’The Prize and the Price: Shaping Sexualities in South Africa2009PretoriaHSRC Press341363
ReidGrameDilgerHansjörgLuigUte‘Gossip, Rumor and Scandal: The Circulation of AIDS Narratives in a Climate of Silence and Secrecy’Morality Hope and Grief: Anthropologies of AIDS in Africa2010bNew York and OxfordBerghahn Books192215
SadgroveJoanneVanderbeckR.M.AnderssonG.V.WardK.‘Morality Plays and Money Matters: Towards a Situated Understanding of the Politics of Homosexuality in Uganda’Journal of Modern African Studies2012501103129