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Leefstyl | Lifestyle > Gay > Artikels | Features

Gay marriage is not up for auction!

Cobus Fourie - 2009-10-27

The first signs appeared shortly before the April elections when pious Jacob Zuma played charlatan preacher addressing the Rhema congregation after being invited by the very virtuous Ray McCauley. The signs were hard to miss as the then presidential candidate placed gay marriage and abortion up for auction to the loudest demagogue and sycophant to secure some votes from the devout.

On 11 September 2009 the article "Zuma's new God squad wants liberal laws to go" hit LGBTIQ and liberal/sane South Africans and alerted us about an onslaught by the bigot establishment. It is quite ironic that such nauseating and worrying news should strike the towers of human rights in South Africa precisely eight years after equally deranged bigots flew aeroplanes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The demagogues: the NILC (National Interfaith Leadership Council) formed by Ray McCauley and closely aligned to Zuma.

The South African Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (SA GLAAD) was first to release a statement condemning this and it was published on Mambaonline: "Concern over Zuma God squad". The blogosphere also erupted in disgust as very eloquently stated by Jon Cayzer in "McCauley: Zuma’s camerlengo is a threat to liberal democracy".

The news spread virally through social networks, including Facebook, which led to the establishment of the Facebook group "Get your hands off my Rights, Ray McCauley!". The group grew quickly and the members’ disgust was uncontainable.

A follow-up article showed up not long after the news broke and some more information came to light as elaborated in "Gay marriage, abortion rights 'not under threat". The Presidency denies in said article that these rights were under threat and the spokesperson, Mr Mona, even said, “This is an opportunity to educate the conservatives and say that this is not a Christian state", while in the same breath saying, “The president was saying: Let's discuss and see who wins the day. The liberal interpretation of the Constitution may win the day, or the conservative interpretation may win the day.” I would call that the most ambiguous rhetoric I have ever seen. Mr Mona used to work for Rhema. Coincidence? I think not.

Now the sickening news has hit the US: "South Africa debates same-sex marriage".

Now with the likes of Naidoo revelling in their perceived breakthrough we have a regime which seems hell-bent on becoming more fascist. Zuma’s "shoot first and ask questions later" has already caused uproar. Marius Redelinghuys’s brilliant article "Goodbye liberty, hello police state" exposes the regressive regime and he later asked the pivotal question, “Have we replaced the ‘Dream of 1994’ with the ‘Nightmare of 1984’? South Africa's future increasingly reads more and more like pages from this Orwellian masterpiece.”

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose … As a political layman I have predicted the Orwellianisation of our country since last year, but nobody took any notice. Like Gandhi said: first they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then they fight you, then you win. The JZ regime seems a carbon copy of East Germany and apartheid South Africa. Same trite, just another colour. The apartheid regime hated the pesky gays – who can forget that?

Zuma seems an accommodating man and that may well be the rationale behind this conversation with the bigots. The apparatchiks may have well-intentioned ideas, but the old adage still holds true: the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Look at the criminal disregard of liberty in the guise of the US Patriot Act as a simple example.

Redelinghuys states: "I’m vividly reminded of Benjamin Franklin’s profound statement (here paraphrased): 'Those who are willing to give up a little liberty to ensure a little security deserve neither and will lose both.' If we are willing to sit back and applaud the police and the securocrats as they successively gnaw away at our basic liberties, if we allow this process to go unchecked, unmonitored and unwatched, then we deserve the effective, repressive police state and its implications."

The Pink community’s detractors are a bunch of colourful characters. Take Peter Hammond for example. The article "Christian 'slave redeemers' linked to pro-apartheid militants" cites that: “The chairman of Frontline Fellowship is Peter Hammond, a former South African army sniper and intelligence officer. Hammond, the son-in-law of ITMI president Bill Bathman, formed Frontline Fellowship on a South African military base in Namibia, drawing on ex-Rhodesian commando units for members. Frontline Fellowship literature called the South African army under apartheid a ‘missionary force’ which must be supported. He is also the current director of UCA (of CSI's Gunnar Wiebalck), of which Frontline Fellowship has been a member since the 1980s. ‘If you believe Christ wants a holy war to preserve apartheid, the Reverend Peter Hammond is your general, his Frontline Fellowship your army,’ wrote the National Catholic Reporter in 1989.”

Now Mr Hammond’s shooting skills probably came in handy when he and one of his spawn decided to shoot trick-or-treaters on Halloween night with paintball guns. He was subsequently charged with assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm as elaborated in two articles: "'Paintball pastor' arrested after kids shot" and "Evangelist charged with assault".

Hammond is also co-author of the most hateful trash that has ever seen the light of day called The Pink Agenda - Sexual Revolution in South Africa and the Ruin of the Family. The book came very close to being the first book ever banned in the new South Africa and was subsequently rated R18. Hammond, of course, laments this and elaborates on it: "Threats to Ban Christian Book in South Africa".

Apparently their patented faith is subject to persecution. Strange, I have not seen a single church being burnt down, a worshipper maimed or the devout being physically attacked for being devout.

Yet the Pink community had to fight lengthy and very expensive court battles to get same-sex marriage legally recognised in South Africa. Ask Fourie and Bonthuys what a battle it was. It would be blight on the country if we were to regress to the cesspit of a so-called “moral state”. The apartheid regime thought they were moral; apartheid was even promoted from the pulpit. Is this not just another paradigm of inequality?