South Africa, in 2006, was the first African country and the fifth country in the world to recognise same sex marriage.

While the rest of the African continent is fiercely homophobic (in June 2015 homosexuality was illegal in 34 out of 55 African states), South Africa is a world leader in gay rights. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was outlawed in 1996, gays have been entitled to serve openly in the military since 1998 and same sex couples can marry, adopt children and have equal access to IVF and surrogacy.