A gay music lecturer is suing the Moreleta Park NG Kerk in Pretoria after he was fired for having a same-sex relationship.

Johan Strydom is demanding R100 000 in damages as well as an “unconditional” apology in the Pretoria High Court.

Strydom, who now lives in Jeffreys Bay, claims that he was fired from the church’s Arts Academy in July 2005 after an anonymous caller told the church that he was gay.

He refused to discuss the issue on the basis that it was a personal matter and was later sent an e-mail from the congregation manager firing him because of the church’s position on homosexuality.

“Why is it not necessary for a heterosexual person to say on his application that he is heterosexual? I can’t see why I had to tell anyone I was homosexual,” an emotional Strydom told the court on Monday, reports SAPA.

“… I was merely a music lecturer, not a spiritual leader. I was not even a member of the N G Kerk,” he said.

The church has said that he was aware that his homosexuality disqualified him from the position, which he would not have been offered if he had been open about his sexuality.

It also says that he had no formal employment contract.

It has been claimed that earlier this year the church cancelled a planned address by the singer Nataniël to students at its arts academy because of his sexuality.

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