Finally, after 5 years of litigation, the South African Constitutional Court will hear the case of the fired lesbian Methodist Minister Ecclesia de Lange, which may turn out to be of great significance for South Africa and the LGBT community.
The landmark case , set for August 27th, will determine whether the equal rights of LGBT people in South Africa wins or loses to faith based discrimination.
De Lange was terminated from the Methodist Church of South Africa in January 2010 after she announced her intention to marry her female partner at the time.
Her earlier attempts at mediation to regain her position and subsequent legal challenges in the Western Cape High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeals in Bloemfontein have all failed.
De Lange, who has fought hard, vowing to see this case through to the absolute last resort, submitted this message through her Facebook page:
"Dear friends, after various submissions by my legal team and the MCSA, the Constitutional Court has set down a hearing for 27 Aug 2015 at 10:00 am. We thank you for your continued support and ask that you keep us and my legal team in your prayers."
Mamba online notes that: “The Constitutional Court’s decision is likely to have major and long-standing repercussions on LGBT equality in South Africa. The court could confirm that religious belief is not a basis on which to discriminate against gays and lesbians, or otherwise possibly agree that this is allowed."
“This is probably the most important case based on sexual orientation that has entered the South African social and legal landscape and as such marks a watershed case for constitutional principles,” said De Lange’s legal team in a statement.
They explained that while she has been campaigning to enforce her personal rights “against the might of a historically established religious institution” her case also means that “the rights of the very marginalised and discriminated-against LGBT citizens are at stake…”
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Today Judge Veldhuizen ruled- or should we say barely ruled in the case of fired Pastor Ecclesia de Lange. See our earlier articles here. The lesbian minister who was fired because of her marriage to another woman has lost her court battle to be reinstated by the Methodist Church, but the case has been reverted […] READ MORE
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