A social media spat has erupted over a wedding venue’s refusal to host a lesbian couple’s ceremony – and now a petition to the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has been started in their support. By 6.30pm on Friday, more than 300 signatures had been received.
“Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion,” was the defence offered by Beloftesbos, near Hermanus, for not hosting same-sex wedding ceremonies.
The picturesque farm first made headlines in 2017 when an American couple took to social media after their request to have their wedding at Beloftesbos was denied.
Sasha-Lee Heekes and fiancée Megan Watling have taken their grievance to the SAHRC, and Facebook users have joined the furore.
Tony Delucchi said: “Not everybody needs to accept your life choice for whatever reason. Why don’t you practise your all-embracing liberalism and accept the fact that we also have a right to live our lives by the choices we make and believe in. Don’t force us to accept things that make us uncomfortable.”
Yanga Zemba Zondi said: “Reading this has made me cry. I am so infuriated on your behalf and on behalf of our children who have to grow up in such a hateful world. These business owners must be prosecuted. We cannot allow this in South Africa. Congratulations on your beautiful love. I pray you have the wedding of your dreams.”
Caryn la Grange: “If Christians are not comfortable to accommodate a same-sex marriage, how exactly is that hateful? How is that discrimination?
“I’m sure they would receive the same response if they would wanted to get married in a mosque. So please put down the pitchforks. The Bible is very clear on all sexual sin, but thank God for Jesus because He removed all sin. Your sin is between you and God. Sin doesn’t send you to hell; not accepting the free gift of salvation does. If a person doesn’t feel comfortable with your life choices, who cares? Jesus still loves you.
“If you don’t believe in God or Jesus, that is also your free choice. Forcing, bullying, threatening, name shaming someone to do something against their beliefs is the exact same as forcing someone to be straight. Live and let live.”
On the Beloftebos website, its owners say: “We… are Christians who seek to honour and obey God in everything we do, including the way in which we operate our business. While the venue is available to people of all races, our biblical conviction is that marriage is reserved for a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman.