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Dutch Reformed Church's decision not to recognise gay marriages set aside

In 2015, the church gave its blessing to same-sex marriages but officials then changed their minds a year later, saying that these relationships do not meet Christian guidelines.

FILE: A gay marriage ceremony. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Dutch Reformed Church's decision not to recognise gay marriages has been set aside by the High Court in Pretoria.

In 2015, the church gave its blessing to same-sex marriages but officials then changed their minds a year later, saying that these relationships do not meet Christian guidelines.

They also decided that homosexual people could become ministers, only if they are celibate.

However, Friday’s judgment allows gay and lesbian members who are in same-sex relationships to become ministers of the church.

Professor Charlene van der Walt from the school of religion and philosophy at the University of KwaZulu-Natal said it’s a major victory for same-sex unions.

“A wonderful moment, a moment of great joy as the court recognises the rights of LGBTQIA+ people. But it’s also sad that people of faith have to turn to court for justice.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)