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Religious leaders to challenge Hate Speech Bill

A group of Christian leaders says the proposed bill will stop them from preaching that homosexuality is wrong.

FILE: Picture: Pixabay.com.

JOHANNESBURG - A group of Christian leaders from KwaZulu-Natal say that they're opposing the proposed Hate Speech Bill, because it will stop them from preaching that homosexuality is wrong.

The bill has been drawn up in the wake of racist comments.

The justice department says it will make it illegal for someone to make comments based on someone's race, gender or sexuality.

These religious leaders say they have the right to continue to preach as they wish.

Pastor Lazarus Pillay is the spokesperson for the group Ministerial Leaders for Christian Rights and says: “As the church has advised and the Constitution allows the church to have a freedom of religion. The church also believes that the Bible is its Constitution and the Bible speaks against it (homosexuality).”

He says one of the major problems with the bill is that it is too broad in the way it defines hate speech.

But Pillay says that while they believe homosexuality is wrong, none of their members have ever condemned gay people or said they should be attacked in any way.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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