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Leefstyl | Lifestyle > Gay > Rubrieke | Columns > Christina Engela: Fundamentally Speaking

The Parliamentary Drowning Pool

Christina Engela - 2011-03-18

Last weekend Mr Gay South Africa won the Mr Gay World contest – the second time a South African title-holder has walked away with the top honours of this prestigious event – and also incidentally, the second year of the Mr Gay SA event. To crown this achievement, South Africa has also been selected to host next year's Mr Gay World event in Johannesburg. This is undoubtedly a remarkable achievement, and something to be proud of – well, at least one would think so.

Yesterday the news broke on Twitter and Facebook that the DA (Democratic Alliance), the official opposition party in parliament, was to make a motion to congratulate Mr Gay SA and the organisers on this fine achievement. It was alleged that upon hearing of this motion, the ACDP (African Christian Democratic Party) immediately declared that it would oppose this motion.

Many folks, myself included, felt that the ACDP stood a snowball's chance in hell of blocking this motion with its puny three seats in over 400 in Parliament, but it seems we were in for a surprise .

The DA filed the motion and, as promised, the ACDP voted against the motion with all three its little votes – joined by the Freedom Front Plus, an equally tiny rightwing and apparently homophobic Afrikaner party which probably doesn't appreciate fully the extreme irony in its name. Apparently, according to some obscure little regulation in parliamentary procedure somewhere, only 7 votes are required to block such a motion – which is exactly what happened.

Now I have written exhaustively about the ACDP and the FF+ over the past few years, and I don't really see the need to do so yet again in this article – but I have to note: this is how petty, spiteful and seemingly full of hate the religious right ACDP is in South Africa. They will try to screw or nail our community (and not in a pleasant way either) at every single turn. "Live and let live" is not a principle they live by, nor are words such as "love your neighbour as yourself", which are oddly alien-sounding whenever one tries to reconcile their behaviour with their protestations that they are supposedly Christians. They even bicker about crossed t's and dotted i's such as the use of the word marriage which they are still trying to remove from the Civil Union Act, even though it doesn't appear in the title. Perhaps they would like to register the word as their fundamentalist "Christian" trademark and call it "Marriage TM"? I wouldn't put it past them.

It seems that since their founding the ACDP and FF+ and other similar nationalist and "christianist" parties have been openly hostile to the most basic principles of democracy, equality, human rights, civil rights, and an open-opportunity-for-all society – and have, over the years, tried their level best to deliver on their threats to return us to our former ignominy as an unacknowledged, criminalised and persecuted minority, once again hiding in the shadows and fearing the tread of a policeman's boots simply because they need a scapegoat to blame their paranoia and political escapades on for the sake of their morality of convenience.

The ACDP remind me of a bunch of annoying little brat kids on a school playground, poking and prodding one another – in the eye, in the ribs, kicking one another's shins and shouting "Did! Not! Did so! Did not!" etc, etc. Perhaps they should spend some of the taxpayer's money on installing a sandpit in parliament? Perhaps some swings and a splash pool? The Freedom Front Plus have made a career out of crying on the political stage, both locally and internationally, about how persecuted and victimised their cultural and racial group is – and clearly see no duplicity in sharing their bad karma with other groups to whom they wouldn't give the time of day.

I wonder whether the "Reverend" Meshoe, or any of the other honourable Members of Parliament who could be so spiteful and childish, if drowning, would refuse to be rescued by a gay man? I don't know – would they? Because this is the level of immaturity and pointless counter-productive spite I see in their behaviour towards valuable, upstanding citizens of South Africa. Perhaps the appropriate answer to this question is to say that we need more gay lifeguards.