By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com September 10 2002 11:00 PM ET
Gay couples have the right to adopt children, and laws that prevent them from doing so violate their constitutional rights, South Africa's highest court ruled Tuesday.
The Constitutional Court found that people in permanent same-sex partnerships can provide children with the stability, support, and affection they need. Lesbian judges Anne-Marie de Vos and Suzanne du Toit, who have been partners since 1989, had asked the court to overturn laws that prevented Du Toit from adopting De Vos's two children.
"I am ecstatic," De Vos told the South African Press Association. "I needed to know that if something happened to me, Suzanne would be able to take care of the children. We just want to be settled and secure in the knowledge that we can both take care of them."
South Africa's constitution outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.