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This might sound like a bizarre and disingenuous approach, especially in a country where a vocal opponent of gay marriage, Pastor Ray Mc Cauley, has been divorced twice.

But I knew exactly what they meant, and I understood it.

“But we can’t really talk about that,” one (gay) friend said.

“No, or the religious right will use it against us,” another agreed.

Here are some actual quotes from submissions to the South African parliament from religious groups in November 2006, a few weeks before gay marriage was passed: “Same sex marriages would make children confused about their role models.” “If the Bill was passed, people would believe that it was acceptable to indulge in behaviour that was contrary to the moral fibre of society, and more would experiment with homosexuality.” “Marriage was love expressed through sacrifice, and marriage would deteriorate to nothing meaningful, would destroy the future of the family.” “Same sex unions would mean the death of civilisation.” Now, I must admit I’m not sure what kind of time-frame these groups had in mind for when these dreadful prophecies would come to pass.

It also bears saying that if you are the type of person constantly on the lookout for signs that civilization is crumbling, you’ll probably find your evidence everywhere from Marikana to Miley Cyrus.

A more private comments system includes only those people you’re friends with — not random friends of friends who can clutter your feed.The fight for gay marriage, in this country and others, was long and bitterly-contested.Nine years ago, shortly before gay marriage was legalized, opponents warned that all manner of dire social consequences would result from this progressive legislation.A few weeks ago I went to see a new play called ‘Civil Parting’, which tells the story of a gay male couple getting divorced.It’s an unusual subject for South African theatre, and afterwards, standing around chatting with a few friends, we started speculating about the gay divorce rate in South Africa.

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