Activists are lobbying new political party Cope to not place the homophobic Peter Marais , who was a former Cape Town mayor and a provincial premier, in a leadership position.

An online petition created by Cobus Fourie from SA GLAAD calls on the party’s bosses to “not include Peter Marais in any leadership structure of the party or any significant position of power in local, provincial and national government.”

The petition, titled ‘Say NO to a Cope with Peter Marais’, concludes: “We hope the leadership heeds our appeals and make the correct decision.”

Marais was rapped over the knuckles by the Human Rights Commission in 2002 for making homophobic comments.

It’s been claimed that the Christian politician has previously “condemned homosexuals”, and objected to the marketing of Cape Town as a gay tourism destination.

He also claimed that a “gay lobby” in the Democratic Alliance was out to get him when he was demoted by the party in 2001.

During his controversial career he has been a member of the Labour Party, the National Party, the DA, and the NNP and less than two months ago reportedly pledged his loyalty to the Christian Democratic Alliance.

Marais announced that he was joining Cope at the end of November. The petition can he found here:

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