South Africa, however, isn't new to granting equal protections. In 2003, same-sex couples were given the same financial status as heterosexual married couples. Same-sex adoption was also legalized in 2002. That same year the High Court in Bloemfontein ruled that denying same-sex couples the right to marry equally was unconstitutional.
Before marriage, South Africa granted unregistered civil unions as far back 1999.