'ANC has never considered debating gay rights'

The ANC has distanced itself from an MP's comments about its member’s reluctance to protect gay rights.

ANC supporters at the Freedom Day celebrations in Pretoria. Picture: Taurai Maduna/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) has distanced itself from an MP's comments about people's reluctance to promote and protect the rights of gay and lesbian people.

ANC MP and chairman of the Constitutional Review Committee Patekile Holomisa told the City Press newspaper that sexual orientation has always been a touchy subject for the ANC caucus.

"The last time this issue was discussed was about same sex marriages. Most of the people in the caucus were opposed to it, but then Luthuli House and the leadership instructed us to vote for it," Holomisa told the paper.

The MP was responding to the National House of Traditional Leaders, which wants to remove a clause from the Constitution, which protects people on the grounds of sexual orientation.

The matter came up when the organisation was invited to submit suggestions for Constitutional amendments.

On Sunday, ANC's spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said the party has never considered debating the issue in parliament.

"The South African Constitution and its Bill of Rights remain as the cornerstone of democracy."

Mothapo added that section nine is imperative, as it ensures equal rights for everyone.

The ANC has distanced itself from an MP's comments about its member's reluctance to protect gay rights.