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LGBTQ community hopes Dutch Church ruling will breed inclusivity

On Friday, the High Court in Pretoria overturned the church's decision not to recognise same-sex marriages.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - The LGBTQ+ community has described Friday's court ruling on same-sex marriages in the Dutch Reformed Church as a landmark decision and say they hope faith-based organisations will now begin the journey of learning to be open and inclusive.

On Friday, the High Court in Pretoria overturned the church's decision not to recognise same-sex marriages.

The church made headlines in 2015 after it initially gave its blessing to same-sex marriages but then made an about turn, saying they contradicted Christian doctrine.

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

One of the people who challenged the Dutch Reformed Church's decision not to bless homosexual pastors in same-sex relationships was Laurie Gaum; he said all faith-based communities should welcome this ruling.

“It’s not in tune with the gospel of inclusion and of affirmation of all [to exclude them].”

Gaum said churches should be held responsible for upholding the Constitution.

“This is a call to those communities to step up to the plate and come to the party and really celebrate the diversity that they are blessed with.”

Experts have also welcomed today’s ruling, but say it's unfortunate that a court had to tell faith-based communities to stop discriminating against people based on their sexuality.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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