De Langa (right) and her wife Amanda on their wedding day.
Ecclesia de Lange, a lesbian minster of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) will reportedly appeal her suspension following a disciplinary hearing over her marrying another woman.
De Lange appeared at the hearing at the Edgemead Methodist Church in the Cape yesterday.
According to the Facebook group created to support de Lange, the District Disciplinary Committee heard her defence, which was delivered by the Rev Tim Attwell, and then adjourned for a half an hour to make its decision.
In its verdict, the committee said that de Lange was found guilty of “failing to observe the provisions of the Laws and Disciplines and all other policies, decisions, practices and usages of the Church by announcing her intention to enter into a same-sex civil union, and especially by doing this without consultation with her Superintendent and the Bishop.”
The committee further recommended that de Lange remain suspended “until such time as the MCSA makes a binding decision on ministers in same-sex unions”. In addition, it said that she should not hold any position in the Church nor receive any salary during this time.
The group’s creator, Andrew Treu, wrote that de Lange has declared her intention to appeal the committee’s ruling and that this is expected to be heard by the Connexional Disciplinary Committee at the end of the month.
“This is an opportunity for the MCSA to resolve this internal conflict and do what is right – to recognise our dignity and equality and our worthiness as people. A time to say – ‘more than tolerance – we accept you and we love you as our equals,'” commented Christina Engela from SAGLAAD on the news of the appeal.