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Gay reverend loses bid to get job back

Ecclesia de Lange was dismissed by her church after announcing wedding plans with her same-sex partner.

FILE: Ecclesia de Lange. Picture: Facebook.com.

CAPE TOWN - A former methodist pastor, who was dismissed by her church due to her sexual orientation, has lost her final bid to get her job back.

Ecclesia de Lange was suspended and dismissed after announcing wedding plans with her same-sex partner.

The church policy only recognises heterosexual marriages and when de Lange announced she was going to marry a woman, she was fired.

Previous attempts to have her discontinuation as a minister set aside failed in the Western Cape High Court and in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

The Constitutional Court today upheld the ruling of the two courts and said the matter should be resolved through arbitration.

Freedom of Religion South Africa also applied to be added as friend of the court.

The organisation's Nadene Badenhorst has welcomed the court's decision.

"The church and religion should be free to decide for themselves what they believe according to their interpretation of the holy scriptures and how it runs with internal affairs. The danger with this case is that the court would be asked to pierce that doctrinal shield."

Freedom of Religion South Africa also applied to be added as friend of the court.

The organisation's Nadene Badenhorst says, "The church and religion should be free to decide for themselves what they believe, according to their interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, and how it runs its internal affairs. The danger with this is that the court would be asked to pierce that doctrinal shield."

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